As four skinny white guys with tacky ties and matching peroxide dos, there’s no good reason why the Briefs shouldn’t come off as punk’s latest one-trick phonies. After all, Ramones-ripped riffs and 90-second blasts of snot-rocket rock aren’t exactly indications of innovation, so it would’ve made total sense had Seattle’s (h)it band du jour immediately sped headlong and headfirst into the anonymity of the punk rock riffraff, never to be seen or heard from again.
Surprisingly, Hit After Hit is too glorious a debut not to make a name for the Briefs. Spouting and shouting in their faux Brit barks, Steve E. Nix and friends have recorded a fabulously fun and funny collection of notable and quotable anthems that work best when poking fun at, and paying tribute to, the music the band listened to growing up. “Silver Bullet,” for instance, hilariously calls for Bob Seger’s head, and the speed-kill pill “Dolly Parton” name-checks the country queen alongside the Dalai Lama. “New Shoes,” however, is the album’s should-be single with its one-two-fuck-you attitude and spot-on critique of punk’s fashion pretension (“I got a new pair of shoes and I’m better than you!”).
This refreshing lack of self-consciousness and seriousness is exactly why the Briefs succeed while most boy-punks get bogged down in delusions of grandeur, pissin’ and moanin’ about their so-called importance and oppressions as straight white guys. Sure, Hit After Hit may share a ’70s-obsessed sound and style, but the Briefs’ mile-a-minute manifestos are still fun and flamboyant enough to distinguish the band from so many of its punk-rock peers.
E-mail Jimmy Draper at firstname.lastname@example.org.