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Live Concert Review

7 Seconds / Bishops Green / The Briggs / Success

Live in Vancouver (06/15/15)

Fortune Sound Club - Vancouver, BC
By

 
 

 

 

Fortune Sound Club rarely puts on punk shows and focuses more on the dance scene, but it’s always a blast when they do and, generally, leans more to the hardcore persuasion. Fucked Up and OFF! both previously played there and now last night was the legendary 7 Seconds with three unbelievably solid openers.

In fact, it was the openers that initially attracted me to the show – particularly Seattle’s Success and LA’s The Briggs. Kicking off the evening was the former – ripping through numerous tracks from their impeccable Radio Recovery album on Red Scare Industries. A perfect Fest band, their brand of gravelly punk follows in the vein of suburban exploration and questioning that has made the careers of bands like The Menzingers. Despite being relatively unknown to the crowd, the band served as a an appropriate warm up playing songs such as Believe In, Nowhere Kids, Flowers, Lives That We Deserve, a Stiff Little Fingers cover with Joey Briggs on vocals and finally Revolution Schmevolution to cap the set off.

After Success, The Briggs came on and there`s no way in hell they felt like the second band on a four band bill. No. These guys put on a headlining performance – and one of the strongest sets I`ve seen in ages. Coming back after a lengthy hiatus –  discounting their new EP, their last album came out back in 2008 – and it was clear that the break rejuvenated them.

They were wild, passionate and venomously strong. For most of the songs, they brought up a guitar tech so Joey Briggs could run wild with the microphone but honestly every member was running wildly. No one stayed behind the mic stands, they pulled as close to the crowd as possible – from the opening chords of Third World War to the closing chant of This Is LA. It was frenetic, chaotic and passionate  as they played through Madmen, Charge Into The Sun, My Own Enemy, Blacklist, One Shot Down and a handful of newer cuts – Broken Bones and Seriously How Old Are You? if I remember correctly. For an old fan, the set was pure perfection and even those who had never listened to them before were severally pleased with the result.  As I said, a headlining set from a 2nd band slot – the night was already rocking.

Local favourites Bishops Green were next. Fresh from a European tour, the band brought the Oi! fans out in full force. Fronted by the charismatic Greg Huff, the band rekindled the sound of the dying UK Street Punk scene (despite being Canadian).  With a steady stream of sing-along anthems built on a working class ethos, Bishops Green had the crowd climbing over one another to sing into the microphone with Huff.  Tough without being tough guy, Cockney Rejects and Sham 69 would be proud.

Finally, it was time for the real headliner of the evening with 7 Seconds.  After a somewhat less than positive experience at another punk staple show on Saturday (Screeching Weasel), we weren’t quite sure what to expect from  Kevin Seconds and his hardcore group; but what we got was better than I could imagine.

In a stark contrast from Saturday’s aging punk show, Kevin Seconds was alive. He was energetic, gracious, enthusiastic and smiling. After 35 years, it remains clear that Seconds still loves every minute he’s on stage and he – and the band – sounded spot on. He thanked the women in the crowd instead of condoning them – playing Not Just Boys Fun and encouraging as much participation as possible.

With thirty five years under their belts and ten albums (five of which were released before I was even born), 7 Seconds has not only a wealth of songs to choose from but also a wealth of experience to build on. Both of them were evident – playing new tracks like this year’s Exceptional followed by 1984’s The Crew without hesitation.  Greg Huff came on to sing If The Kids Are United and the crowd went wild for their cover of 99 Red Balloons but the set was tied together by the hardcore staples’ originals such as Walk Together Rock Together, Your Hate Mentality, Sooner or Later, We’re Gonna Fight, Slogans on A Shirt and New Wind.  

At the end of the night, no one could deny that all four bands on the bill were incredibly solid – and there’s really no better way to spend a Monday night than at a hardcore show. 

The Briggs

The Briggs

Self Titled EP

This Is LA Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

It’s been more than a while since LA punk rock outfit The Briggs has graced the community with their no frills brand of vibrant fist pumpers.  Their previous effort, Come All Ye Madmen, offered up a finely honed dose of punk rock pleasure that left fans on a high that before long transformed into a seven year recording hiatus.  Thankfully the boys finally reunited in the studio for the release of a brand new four-song EP (plus previously recorded bonus track, “Panic”), and the outcome picks up right where The Briggs left off.

Marking their return, the EP succeeds as a self-titled effort that should entice newcomers and excite reacquainted fans.  At their core, the Californian quartet draws upon the same anthemic ”riffs and ra! ra!” punk rock resonance as larger than life counterparts like Street Dogs and Dropkick Murphys.  Time has done little to dull The Briggs knack for big sing-along choruses.  Opener “Broken Bones” may dress things up with a tight piano-meets-marching drum intro, but takes little time to pound the percussion and drive the chorus home with the stadium-filling chorus line, “I know you’re hurting, it’s only human, we’re all broken, I heard you once say, nobody’s living ‘till some bones are broken.”  The carefully weighted balance pumps up vigorously before retreating to a brief but intimate bridge spotlighting Joey Brigg’s belted punch alongside subtle acoustic accents.  While holding all the markings of a basic punk rock 101 alumni, the effect is fabulously fulfilling.  

Even with such an explosive entrance, the remainder of the EP holds up to The Briggs initial standards.  “Gridlocked” continues the soaring gang vocal performance with it’s brief but invigorating momentum and sharp toothed riffs.  Meanwhile, hand claps, boot stomps and hearty “woah-oh” choruses collide in “Seriously, How Old Are You?,” making for one of the album’s many stick-in-you-head highlights.  Closer “Questions And Answers” ends on a nostalgic note that channels a dampened, inward-looking retrospect as the band questions, “Do we always have to pay for our past mistakes, is there a way to avoid our fate?”  The thoughtful sentiment speaks to the band’s character beyond their brash exterior.  

It feels good to be reaquainted with The Briggs after such an extended absence.  The EP does a good job of reminding listeners why The Briggs getting back in the saddle is such an enticing prospect.  If their self titled EP is any indication, their eventual full length follow up should make for an anticipated and long overdue career reboot for fans and newcomers alike.

Tours: The Briggs / 7 Seconds

The BriggsLA punk act The Briggs has announced that they will be hittring the road with punk legends 7 Seconds for a brief tour this June.  The Briggs will be supporting their upcoming self titled EP, due out May 5, 2015, while 7 Seconds continue to pound the pavement for their latest full length, Leave A Light On.

Tour dates can be found below.

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The Briggs Stream Three New Songs

The BriggsLos Angeles punk act The Briggs is streaming three brand new songs!  The songs include “Broken Bones,” “Gridlock,” and “Seriously, How Old Are You?” and are all expected to appear on their long awaited self titled full length.  Pre-orders for the full disc are now available.

Listen to all three tracks below.

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Joey LaRocca (The Briggs, Joey Briggs) starts EDM production moniker MASS FLAX

mass flaxJoey LaRocca (The Briggs, Joey Briggs) has started producing electronic Dance Music under the moniker Mass Flax. He just signed to All The Hype Records and will be releasing an EP in the spring/summer.

The first song can be heard here.

Live Concert Review

Dropkick Murphys, The Briggs, The Tossers

Live (Nov. 9th, 2007)

Edmonton Events Centre - Edmonton, Alberta
By

 
 

 

 

Dropkick Murphys, The Briggs and The Tossers all together in one night of pure chaotic glory? The show was easily poised to be one of the more memorable shows of 2007; so much so that it was sold out weeks in advance and people were desperately searching for extra tickets hours before doors opened. If they were able to scavenge up some tickets they were lucky, because anyone who missed the show definitely missed out.

After local openers Run Runners finished their energetic set, Chicago’s Celtic punk rockers The Tossers hit the stage, set to play a wide selection of songs from their entire catalogue. Opening up with the raucous Goodmornin’ Da, the band played mostly their high energy tracks, successfully getting the pit moving along with them. With very little said in between songs other than the occasional “Cheers!” and song explanation, The Tossers just stuck with the music; switching from No Loot, No Booze, No Fun to Siobhan and Where Ya Been Johnny? without any hesitation. The addition of Altercations got the crowd singing “Fuck The Police!” back at them while the inclusion of the three minute instrumental The Sheep In The Boots toned it down a bit too. Despite not doing anything extraordinary with their thirty minute time slot, they did not fail to entertain at all with their more traditional take on Celtic Punk and those in the crowd who hadn’t known them before were sure to remember their name in the future.

Next came up LA’s The Briggs and even now, a good twenty hours since seeing them hit the stage, I’m still in awe. It has been far too long since I’ve seen a performance like the one they put on last night. Tearing up the stage for a solid forty five minutes, the band was frantic, engaging and energetic. They jumped into the crowd, climbed on the speakers, crowd surfed and pulled the fans close towards them. They rarely, if ever, took a moment’s rest and instead crammed as many songs as possible into their set. Opening up with One Shot Down, the band played through songs like Back To Higher Ground, Keep Us Alive, Third World War, Dead Men (Don’t Tell Tales), Song of Babylon, Wasting Time, Waiting In The Shadows, and Song For Us. Within no time the band, and the crowd, were drenched in sweat. The band had no gimmicks up their sleeve, other than the urging for the crowd participation of “woooaah!,” and they didn’t need any either as the music and intensity had the crowd under their control anyway. It was one of the most memorable shows I’ve seen in a while and a band I would rush out to see again if the opportunity arose and I’d urge anyone to do the same. Once the band finished up Bored Teenagers and left the stage, I couldn’t help but think to myself that if the show was to end right there I would have been happy. It was just that good of a set, I don’t know how else to explain it.

But of course, The Briggs weren’t there to end the show, but to warm the crowd up for Boston’s almighty Dropkick Murphys who took the stage after a twenty or so minute set change. The band stepped into Famous For Nothing and the crowd was instantly awash with movement and knew what to expect for the evening. Just like always, the band filled the stage with members and excitement. They sounded good and even brought out a piano on the stage for the inclusion of songs like Tessie. Tthe only downside of the evening was that Al Barr’s vocals were a little muffled throughout the set, something that normally doesn’t happen for them.

The band focused mainly on newer material like God Willing, (F)lannigan’s Ball, The State Of Massachusetts but also dipped into some older cuts like Wild Rover, Heroes From Our Past, Captain Kelly’s Kitchen, Boys On The Docks, Citizen CIA, The Gang’s All Here, Fields of Athenry, The Warrior’s Code, The Auld Triangle and fan favorite Barroom Hero. It was no surprised that they performed mainly newer songs from The Meanest Of Times and The Warrior’s Code, but I will admit I was shocked not to hear Spicy McHaggis Jig, Walk Away or For Boston; at least they made it up with the inclusion of Worker’s Song though.

Of course, without the performance of Spicy McHaggis Jig, the band still needed to get the ladies up on the stage and opted to use the great drinking song Kiss Me I’m Shitfaced to accomplish the task for the final song of their set. Once the stage was cleared of the fans and a rousing chant of “Let’s Go Murphys!” came to an end, the band walked back on the stage with the newly popularized Shipping Out To Boston before ending the evening with two old tracks, Skinhead On the MTBA (which one again got everyone up on the stage) and a cover of Gang Green‘s Alcohol.

The odd thing of the night thought was that despite the band not doing anything wrong, I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed. There’s no real explanation for it, and for the most part the show was great, but there was something there holding it back from it becoming phenomenal and while there was no real reasoning behind it, it was still my least favorite time seeing them live; so when I think back on this night it is The Briggs who shine through instead of the headliners.

The Briggs - Leaving The Ways

The Briggs

Leaving The Ways

SideOneDummy Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

The first impression you get from a CD is from it’s cover. Lately, there hasn’t been many covers which have made the CD jump out of the CD rack and grabbed my attention. But when I looked at The Briggs’s new EP, Leaving The Ways, I finally received a good impression. The artwork of the pirate ships was done very well, very professional, and very eye catching. But in reality, the cover means nothing. It just pulls you’re attention towards the album, for you to actually pay attention to the album, you need to have some good quality songs on it. And as soon as the first track started, I knew that this EP had some good quality songs that will keep me listening to the album for a long time afterwards.

The trio plays a brand of exciting street punk very similar to that of The Lawrence Arms (when Brendan is singing) and One Man Army. It tends to be pretty simple three-chord punk rock with slightly rusty vocals that get stuck in your head right away. The choruses are catchy and simple, even before the end of your first listen you will be singing along with the choruses of the songs. The songs are about murders, along with being trapped in a dungeon and other songs mocking the top 40 countdown and songs of self-empowerment. They are high-energy songs that get your blood flowing and your adrenaline pumping. The Briggs are the type of band that I would love to have the chance to see live and see their high-energy songs played right in front of my eyes.

I don’t know any of The Briggs older stuff, but if this EP is any indication, I should definitely be thinking about picking up some of their old albums while I wait for the band’s next full length to be released.

The Briggs - Come All You Madmen

The Briggs

Come All Your Madmen

SideOneDummy Records
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

The Briggs are not song-writing geniuses, they’re not always the most original nor the most daring; but really, this is punk – when did any of that matter? Instead, The Briggs fill up their CDs with unabridged energy and raw excitement. They sound like they own the place, and for the forty some minutes that Come All You Madmen lasts, they do.

It’s LA punk rock brimming with unparalleled intensity merging styles of old and new, giving nods to some of today’s greats and some legends of the past at the same time. It’s a straight forward punk rock record tinged with Oi! elements with vocals that get implanted in your mind immediately. Come All You Madmen has elements of Against Me!‘s New Wave with The Dropkick Murphys‘ Sing Loud Sing Proudmixed with some softer Against All Authority. Then rounding it all off is some Stiff Little Fingers and Clash influences – with one section that constantly reminds me of The Dead Kennedys.

It starts off with Mad Men, clapping hands creak in and build before Joey LaRocca’s signature worn vocals come pumping through with controlled anger. You soon hear Ken Casey of Dropkick Murphysadd his pipes to the mix while the same beat that originated with the clapping hands is still being banged out in the background. It grabs your attention, creates a sense of unity and builds the excitement up as it becomes the perfect introduction track to the album. They maintain that energy for the whole album. LA‘s group vocals chant their praise for the home town while Charge Into the Sun has a higher guitar pitch and guest vocals from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones‘ Dicky Barett. They slow it down on Not Alone, Final Words and the powerful, but very soft, closer Molly.

There’s really nothing incredibly original about the release and some may complain that the songs can get repetitive with the chorus constantly being repeated; but The Briggs have crafted a sound that is their own. They play with confidence, mixing woahs with thumping beats and vocals that entice you to sing along. It’s much more cohesive than their prior efforts with a much fuller and distinctive sound than Back To Higher Ground. The band wowed me last year with their blistering live set that left me flabergasted and I can’t wait to see them again and sing these songs with them; because in the end, these songs are meant to be sung together.

The Briggs - Back To Higher Ground

The Briggs

Back To Higher Ground

SideOneDummy Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

I still remember sitting amongst the beautiful backdrop of Canmore, Alberta and ripping open The Briggs‘ Leaving The Ways for the first time; and frankly I loved it. While it wasn’t an EP I continually pulled out, I never forgot it and was always happy when they came on in shuffle on my iPod. When I heard that they were coming out with a full length, I was pumped, and after multiple listens to Back To Higher Ground, it’s incredibly obvious that they were able to live up to all my expectations and more.

Back To Higher Ground is a solid release. A very solid release from front to back. The album breathes with energy and excitement with the simplistic and insanely memorable melodies. Every single song is a perfect sing-along. They are sailor chants that can’t help but bring people together and as you listen to tracks like Song Of Babylon and Wasting Time you can only envision a group of people telling stories and sing along. They are first pumping anthems and with choruses that just get hammered into you instantly as they merge the best parts of punk, rock and old sailor gusto filled to the rim of steady beats and the occasional “woahs.”

Think for a second of bands like The Lawrence Arms and One Man Army slowed down a bit and molded with the Oi! fell of the Dropkick Murphys and the old fashion punk styles of Stiff Little Fingersand you will have yourself The Briggs; and Back To Higher Ground is a solid, fun, entertaining release that never becomes boring or repetitive no matter how much you listen to it.

Throughout the album there’s only two little sections that hinder the album in miniscule ways. The first comes with Insane, a track that resembles slightly to Bryan Adam‘s Summer Of ’69 melody and sound wise. And while it’s a fairly decent track, it is probably also the album’s weakest because it slows down the momentum a bit too much and takes away from some of the energy that was built up until that point. But it’s still a good track, so it’s forgivable, but it could possibly have used a better placement. The second stumble comes from Blacklist, an amazing song that is just cut too short too abruptly. The song has easily the funnest and most energizing chorus, but as they repeat it over and over again at the end of the song, instead of letting it trail off or end smoothly they just pull the plug and give you radio static instead in the middle of a word. It just shocks you and hinders the flow once again.

Other than that, this album is great. It’s not one I’ll pull out constantly, but I will pull it out quite often and I know I’ll never get bored of it.

The Briggs - Leaving The Ways

The Briggs

Leaving The Ways

SideOneDummy Records
By

Rating: 2.5/5

 
 

 

 

As far as my tastes go, I usually can’t stand listening to raspy vocals for too long. Bands like Rancid and Jersey even, just not my style. This is also the same story when it comes to The Briggs. The only difference; I can actually listen to this without wanting to leave the room. Maybe it’s the music, or the way the songs are set up, but there’s just something about this record that makes it stand above all others who share their sound.

One of the first things that came to mind when I put this in the stereo was that these guys would be fun to see live. These are songs that would be fun to sing along to and perfect to start a pit to. On the second track Waiting In The Shadows there’s even a ‘whoa-oh’ part for people to sing along to that have never heard it before. I was just out on the Warped Tour for a few dates but never had a chance to see them play, and after listening to the album I’m wishing I did. When they come back through town I’ll definately go check them out.

Lyrically I didn’t find this album very origional at all. Drinking, escape, being held back for your beliefs. True words, but words that have been spoken many times before. The sound of the album doesn’t change much either, except for All On Me, which could be mistaken for a different band entirely. It’s faster and definately more aggressive.

Overall I’d have to say this is a mediocore album for my tastes, but if you’re a fan of this kind of punk sound, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it very much. With The Briggs, as with every other band, it comes down to a simple stage of opinion and personal taste. I can see myself listening to this album once in a while and checking them out live, but I don’t think I’d be going out and recommending it to everyone I know. My advice, go check it out for yourself and give it a chance.

Video: The Briggs – Panic

The BriggsLos Angeles’ The Briggs have posted their new Beau Patrick Coulon-directed video for Panic

The song, which is available online, is their first since 2008’s Come All You MadmenThe Briggs are currently writing new material for a full length album, as well as recording covers for upcoming Rancid & Adolescent tribute compilations.

They will headline House of Blues Anaheim on Sunday, May 20th.

Read More…

   

The Briggs Post New Single – Panic

The BriggsLos Angeles’s The Briggs have posted a brand new single online for your listening pleasure. The track, Panic, can be heard below.

The song will appear on their forthcoming full length which they are currently working on. The album will follow their 2008 album Come All Your Madmen which was released on SideOneDummy Records. No other release information has been revealed yet.

Read More…

   

The Briggs To Play Before LA Galaxy Soccer Game

The BriggsThis Sunday, November 14th, Los Angeles’ The Briggs will be playing the Home Depot Center during the LA Galaxy/FC Dallas MLS soccer game.

There’s no word on what they will be playing or for how long,

The Briggs last released Come All You Madmen in 2008 on SideOneDummy Records.

   

The Briggs Head To Europe

The BriggsAnthemic street punkers The Briggs have announced that they will be heading to Europe in late August for a string of shows.  Fans  will even have a chance to shape the concerts by voting on tracks for set lists.  After the tour the band will be hitting the studio for a follow up to 2008’s Come All You Madmen.

Dates can be found below, and fans can influence set lists here.

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Joey Briggs Posts Solo Song

Joey BriggsJoey Briggs (of The Briggs) has released a new solo song titled So Let Down from his upcoming solo album.

The demo version had been up for a while but it wasn’t until today that a mastered version was uploaded. You can check out the song on his MySpace page.

The Briggs released their last album, Come All You Madmen, in 2008 on SideOneDummy Records.

Videos: The Briggs – This is LA

The BriggsThe Briggs have released a music video for their song This Is LA from the 2008 album Come All You Madmen.  The song continues to gain popularity, especially in Los Angeles, where it is played before each game for the Log Angeles Kings.

Check out the video below.

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briggs

The Briggs

Chris Arredondo and Joey Larocca

SideOneDummy Records
By on November 9th, 2007 at Edmonton Event Centre - Edmonton, Alberta

 

 

A few hours before The Briggs hit the stage for one of the best live shows I’ve seen in many months, drummer Chris Arredondo sat down with me for a few minutes to discuss the band, touring, the upcoming acoustic EP and more. Halfway through the interview guitarist and vocalist Joey Larocca wandered into the dressing room and started putting his two cents into it too. Thanks a lot to Chris and Joey for doing the interview and Jon for setting it all up. Read More…