The Briggs are a punk rock act that had a hard time getting to me. I am not saying that I was forced to listen to them; rather I missed many occasions to sample them in the past. I either heard a song by them on a compilation and never researched it or simply showed up to a live show just as they left the stage. Missed opportunities did not discourage me though as I finally had the prospect of seeing the Irish punk rockers The Briggs live at the 2008 Van’s Warped Tour and I made damn sure I was in the audience before they took stage.
The Los Angeles punk rock act won me over with their punk rock energy and wholesome sound. I was excited at my decision of finally checking them out as they were one of the few true punk rock acts on the popular tour. Recently releasing their fourth full length album Come All You Madmen I finally got a taste of what I have been missing all these years and I must say it was scrumptious.
Formed in 2001 the foursome has continually toured the US with heavy hitting punk rock acts such as the Dropkick Murphys and Bad Religion. They work hard at what they do and take it to heart. Once quoted as saying that Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello are more punk than most of the punk bands out there today by taking chances and being serious about what they do, The Briggs continue the trend.
“Mad Man” started up the album with politically powerful lyrics and had plenty of sing-a-long opportunities. The Briggs’ ode to “LA” almost has an Oi feel to it but by no means sounds like a simple creation; this ode is heartfelt to their hometown.
“Bloody Minds” had a hint of Against Me! to it, but the song was really likable, especially the horns making for one of my choice cuts off this disc. Another track “Not Alone” really captured my attention too. The song was catchy with unity inspired lyrics layered on top of pleasant sounding punk rock.
“Oblivion” takes a change in the CD’s direction toning down the punk rock feel. The change is welcomed as it is a great song more rock and seemingly more personal to The Briggs. “Final Words” slows down a tad with a song I feel might have sounded a little better if it were sped up. At times I am reminded of something the Clash might have created but not enough for me to want to keep this song on repeat.
“Molly” crawled past me as the closer of the album. What a change in tempo from first to last song. The song is more of an Irish bawl that would be suitable for a drunken evening in a pub. I am not sure why the band started so strong and then ended it with almost a sleeper of a track. Perhaps it was a metaphor I completely missed.
If you are thinking that maybe punk is dead or over processed then maybe you should check out The Briggs. In my opinion they were one of the bands that helped make the 2008 Warped Tour more memorable and after seeing them live and even talking to them at their merch tent (friendliest band ever), I had to check out their newest release. What they have created was not thrown together in hopes of making a quick buck. They are very passionate about the music they display and prove it on Come All You Madmen. Check out their MySpace page if you need some proof.