As much as we have an ever ready appetite at The RR for all things punk from across the decades it is the 77’ eruption and the DIY irreverence it sparked which gets us most excited; lustfulness now ignited once more by the new album from Seattle punksters The Briefs. Coming to the end of their second decade as one explosive and mischievous proposition, the band still breeds its antics on the inspirations of that time and as Platinum Rats proves, it only makes for the most rousing and thrilling romp.
With a lull in their escapades, the quartet within the 2000 formed Briefs were just as busy with other ear grabbing propositions. Guitarist Daniel Travanti formed Sharp Objects and drummer Chris Brief brought us Suspect Parts while guitarist Steve E. Nix and bassist Kicks created another of our major favs in The Cute Lepers but as their bio says, “In the end, it all came back around to the beginning—to The Briefs” and another quite irresistible outing with them courtesy of Platinum Rats.
It is a collection of songs unafraid to wear their influences on their sleeves but it would be wrong to think there is anything but individuality to The Briefs seventies punk meets power pop styled sound. Released via Damaged Goods Records, Platinum Rats bursts from the speakers with its lungs in full holler, never taking its foot of the throttle until its final virulent note and breath is expelled.
Bad Vibrations starts the stomp off, riffs and rhythms in mass assault spilling hooks and grooved lures from every devilish move. Unapologetically infectious from its first roar, the track revels in the angular clips of the guitars and the swinging incitement of its rhythms, vocals just as persuasive in their recruitment of listener involvement before Shopping Spree takes over body and involvement with its own severely short but hungrily catchy pop punk.
Just as animated and galvanic as they are, both songs are quickly eclipsed by next up Nazi Disko and its rawer punk trespass. Like the deformed offspring of illicit doings between The Vibrators and Slaughter And The Dogs, the song barracks and bruises the body it has bouncing from its first handful of notes, only escalating all traits as it bares its antagonism.
She’s The Rat has the same effect on limbs and energy but inspires with its own particularly inescapable lures, one being a flavouring out of The Dickies songbook, one as anywhere on the album twisted into the band’s own unique character and voice while GMO Mosquito does the same to Buzzcocks spiced hooks and riffs. With a seventies glam rock lining to its chorus reservedly audible too, the song nags ears and appetite with ease, recruiting each with increasing potency by the listen.
The feral rock ‘n’ roll of Underground Dopes adds yet another fresh and hungrily tempting flavour to the album, roaring with something akin to a fusion of The Pirates and The Saints while I Hate The World is defiance fuelled virulence recalling bands such as The Flys and Radio Stars and straight after The Thought Police are on the Bus springs a general seventies punk hue within The Briefs stubbornly individual sound and enterprise.
The contagiousness soaking the whole of Platinum Rats is at its greediest within the outstanding Dumb City, a song with a sweeping breath of The Cortinas to its pop infested punk epidemic and no less rapacious as Out of Touch uncages its dirty and irritable punk ‘n’ roll stroll. From its ear snagging hooks to tenaciously biting rhythms, the track is a seductive bully which again the body had no defences to.
The album concludes with the dual stomping of Kids Laugh at You and What’s the Use, two tracks which alone sum up the pop punk mastery and devilment of The Briefs past and present. The first is Class A addiction in the making, every hook and melodic lure devious in their success as rhythms and vocals unscrupulously manipulate. Its successor closes things up with a bold Eddie And The Hot Rods meets The Motors saunter as less openly a Devo-esque essence flirts.
If there is a single punk bone in your body it is hard not to see Platinum Rats stirring up the spirit and if the genre, especially from its first breath, is food and drink expect to heavily drool.
Platinum Rats is out now via Damaged Goods Records.
Pete RingMaster 16/04/2019
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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