The Briefs: Steal Yer Heart

Briefs: Steal Your heart

The Briefs: Steal Yer Heart
Label: BYO
Release Date: 10/08/2005
Review Date: 11/03/05

The Briefs still rule. This is their 4th full length, (5th if you count the excellent collection Singles Only). First things first. Steal Yer Heart is not as good as the previous four, but it’s still good. Part of the problem is in the EQ and mixing of the first couple of tracks. The guitars swallow up the vocals and make the lyrics to hard to distinguish without headphones, and believe me, with titles like “Genital General,” you’ll want to hear what’s going on. Blasting the first three tunes in any situation with aural distractions relegates them to ppure background music. Four songs into Steal Yer Heart it starts to pick up from a technical standpoint. “Lint Fabric” is the first song that starts to stick out. “Getting Hit On At the Bank” stands out like a sore thumb, but in a good way. One of the obvious single choices, and the tune that is most like the quirky Briefs songs that showcase the talent and humor that distances them from the hordes of new wave/punk revival bands. Another stand out is “Normal Jerks.” Great song. Great title. Learn it, love it, live it. If you like Hit after Hit’s “New Case” you’ll find nothing to crab about with “Forty and Above.” Finally, “Can’t Get Through” and “I Can’t Work” round out the tracks that will likely be associated with the golden age of the Briefs. “Stuck On You” is a fun listen with good horn usage, but not quite of the same caliber. “Razorblade Heart” sounds like the sorely missed Exploding Hearts.

Hey Briefs, give us some goddamned liner notes! The CD packaging keeps getting slicker and conspicuously absent of liner notes, lyrics, and all the things that are supposed to make you feel rewarded for not downloading pirated music – aside from the warm feeling in your heart, of course. If I could read the lyrics I wouldn’t have to complain about the mix of the songs. I guess I need to be able to say something in these reviews besides “The Briefs rule.” But seriously, make with the liner notes please. Inquiring fans want to know. It’s not as if the guys in the band aren’t funny or creative enough to make them interesting, reading their press and web site proves otherwise. Perhaps they are just truly lazy.

Ok?. Steal Yer Heart is a good Briefs album, but not their best. If you are new to the Briefs you’ll do better to pick up any of their other releases, including the singles collection. If you already like the Briefs you won’t be too disappointed unless you are a stupid web critic who is jealous because he wasn’t asked to take the place of fan-favorite Lance Romance, the recently and amicably departed bass player. I guess he’s got a family life and other interests or something. Whatever. He did take photos and provide some background vocals for Steal Yer Heart.

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