Hooks cause more damage when barbed and pulled at high speed—that's how the Briefs write every song, and while they're still fun as hell, the world's changed a bit. In the early part of this century, the Briefs pogoed out of the Pacific Northwest like nothing you'd expect from those rainy climes, playing the frantic, poppy punk that England spat out in '77. Interscope signed them, toyed with them for a little while, then dropped them, but Sean Stern of BYO always told them he'd be waiting when the majors chewed them up and spit them out, and he was. So they're back, and they're ready to take on the world—song titles like "Orange Alert," "Destroy the USA" and "No More Presidents" explain how. They're no political punk band now, but, they told us, it's hard not to be political these days. Their best moments are still the hyperactive ones: "Destroy the USA" will have you bouncing around the bomb shelter, but the title track is where the Briefs' pop hooks are sharpest—on a song about fuck dolls, no less. A bittersweet ode to Winona Ryder—"Shoplifting at Macy's"—is the Buzzcockinest song this side of the Atlantic, but they still throw the occasional slower/lovey song into the mix ("Killed By Ants"), though the lyrics are still as fucked-up as everything else on the record. Sure, the Briefs still want to be the Weirdos covering the Vibrators—any band with sense does. But this time around, we swear to you: skinny ties and ugly sunglasses really are gonna save us all. The Briefs perform with The Skulls, The Girls, Hemi Cuda, Los Mysteriosos and more at Alex's Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, (562) 434-8292. Sun., 4 p.m. Call for cover. 21+.
Check out this week's featured ad for Entertainment