The Briggs

Leaving the Ways (SideOneDummy)

Aug 25, 2004 at 4:00 am
Last I checked, the Briggs were an oi! band. Bald heads bounced energetically in the crowd like breasts at a titty bar last time the band came through the state. Skinheads were definitely out in force to support the Briggs; they gave their boot-stamp of approval. But as loud as the band screamed oi! onstage, only a whisper of the word is to be heard on its latest album, Leaving the Ways.

Brothers Joey and Jason LaRocca's vocals faintly resemble the menacing growls of a number of classic oi! band frontmen, but their music is mediocre, dumbed-down pop-punk at best. In a menial attempt at an anthem for the masses, "Song for Us" was born. As the chorus kicks into gear, one of the LaRoccas calls, "This is a song for the ones who can't be heard!" Well, if this is the best they can do, they'd be better off remaining unheard. The song is just a reworking of the four previous songs on the album. They all carry the same beat and tone, which will probably go over well in crowded dive bars with shitty acoustics, but on record they are monotonous.

Only the last song, "Top 40," stands out for its slowed, bass-heavy intro and its focused message: a derisive critique of the music industry. Because hell, when is it not fun to bite the hand that feeds you? If it's loud and rowdy unoriginal street punk you want, this is your album. But for quality oi!, check out some of the Briggs' influences like Cock Sparrer or Blitz. At least they started out on the right foot.