THE BRIEFS - PLATINUM RATS
THE BRIEFS share a similar place in my heart to bands such as the
Dickies, Toy Dolls and the Ramones. Fast paced, high energy, frenetic
punk rock that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Formed in Seattle in 2000 they immediately set about a plan for world
domination with their debut release "Hit after Hit". This
showcased their 77-style of loud, raucous, pop punk, heavily
influenced by such esteemed UK bands as the Undertones and Adverts.
Continuing their assault over the next few years, matters culminated
in 2007 with the release of a feature-length documentary about the
band, entitled "The Greatest Story Ever Told". However,
at that point the trail went cold and the band appeared to slip into
indefinite hiatus. That is until now.
So, after more than a decade of inactivity, Daniel J Travanti, Chris
Brief, Steve E Nix (geddit!) and Kicks re-emerge onto the musical
landscape with "PLATINUM RATS".
And, as soon as the infectious hook of opener "Bad Vibrations"
crashes through your speakers, it is plain to see that nothing has
changed much in their World. They certainly haven't mellowed into
a middle age soft rock act as they still deliver full throttle,100
mph, blitzkrieg punk rock, proven by the fact that only two tracks
on the album clock in at over 2 minutes 46 seconds.
"Shopping Spree" careers like a run away train for a minute
and a half, followed by the only slightly longer "Nazi Disco",
which culminates with the laudable lyrics "I don't need your
Nazi disco. We don't want your Nazi disco. I don't need your Nazi
"She a Rat" definitely sounds like something
that would have graced an early Dickies album, being both catchy and
humorous. "GMO Mosquito" at 4 minute 2 seconds is comfortably
the longest track on the album, but hardly what you would call their
Bohemian Rhapsody. The pace remains unaltered, with some nice semi-Only
Ones guitar solos and I can't think of many songs, whatever their
musical genre, that are about genetically modified insects.
Whilst "Underground Dopes" and "I Hate the World"
carry on the frantic pace, my only criticism of the album is that
perhaps it suffers from the lack of an occasional slower number to
break up the continual aural assault.
As previously noted with "Nazi Disco", for all their infantile
appearance, the band are not afraid to comment on the political landscape.
However, "The Thought Police Are On The Bus" seems to take
a more general swipe at politicians of all persuasions. Given the
absolute shambles recently seen in Parliament, I think they might
have a pretty good grasp of the incompetence of British politicians
at the moment.
There's little time to draw breath as the frenetic pace continues
unabated with "Dumb City" and "Out of Touch".
Both follow the bands' time honoured tradition of frenzied, three
chord thrash that brings pure joy to the heart of old punks like me.
Penultimate song "Kids Laugh At You" is the lead single
from the album and already out, whilst matters are rounded out by
"What's The Use", with a bass line that brings back memories
of Warning by Green Day.
So, after a decade away, The Briefs return and the World is a better
place for having them back. So, do yourself a favour and check out
the CD when its released in the UK on April 12 on Damaged Goods.