God save the Briefs. Like all the Sex Pistols/Ramones worshippers before it, the band does nothing to reinvent old-school punk; unlike the other misfits, however, the Briefs do everything possible to take the piss out of punk with quick wit and swanky style. On the cheeky Seattle foursome's debut LP, Hit After Hit
, the Briefs deliver the kicks in snap-crackle-pop fashion, charging through 13 songs in 25 minutes.
Snotty little punk numbers like "Shut Up You're Stupid," "C'Mon Squash Me Like a Bug," and "Silver Bullet" (with its command to "Kill Bob Seger right now") fly the middle finger even higher than the band members' shit-eating grins. Stylewise, the Briefs exude new-wave cool with mod suits, striped ties, and the kind of oversized sunglasses usually reserved for toddlers aping rock stars. And finally, while the Briefs may not sing in authentic limey accents, they do channel the Lydon spirit with snappy four-part sing-alongs.
It's only been a year and a half since the bandmates -- guitarists Daniel J. Travanti and Steve E. Nix, bassist Lance Romance, and drummer Chris Brief -- came together over their mutual love for a few simple chords and the desire to share vocals onstage. Since then, the band has released four 7-inch singles and last year's aptly titled full-length. But to get the full Briefs experience, you have to check out the live show, where the boys bounce around the stage like pingpong balls in a Lotto machine, tossing out burned-my-ass howls, bendy guitar licks, and bratty lyrical metaphors. In the end, the Briefs may be more bottle rocket than rocket science, but they sure uncork one hell of a bang.