Leaving the Ways
Side One Dummy
In the tradition of bands like Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, The Briggs offer up sing-a-long punk to get smashed to. Irish pubs, pints of beer and buckets of testosterone ooze from their latest EP, Leaving The Ways. If that’s your thing, this CD is for you.
It is, however, a pretty limiting genre, appealing mostly to white men with a taste for British Oi punk bands, like Sham 69. Because of this, it’s a little disturbing to hear that guitarist Jason LaRoca refers to the band’s fans as being part of “the brotherhood.” It’s a bad choice of words for a band that already sounds like the soundtrack to a skinhead party.
The standout track on the record is “Dungeon Walls.” It has a simple, catchy chorus, one similar to Rancid. This is one of those songs that grabs you no matter how hard you try to resist. And, believe me, I tried. “Song For Us” has a heavy Mighty Mighy Bosstones influence that must’ve come straight from the EP’s producer, Bosstones’ bassist Joe Gittlemen. It’s another drunken-boys-singing-together-in-unison song that feels like a soccer chant. The last track, “Top 40,” makes use of a dub/reggae groove, as it pokes fun at Top 40 radio. “At the top of the charts, the bottom of the barrel,” they sing about the pop stars of today. Again, it’s catchy, though trite.
These guys don’t try to pretend that they’re doing something new, admitting that they’re continuing in the traditions of the classic punk of the late 1970s. It’s unambitious; but so is much of today’s music. You may as well grab a pint of your chosen lager and celebrate mediocrity to the tune of The Briggs.
The Briggs: www.thebriggs.org