The Briggs - Back To Higher Ground
With so many bands mining a similar seam, trying to stand out from the pop-punk pack is an incredibly difficult task. Where The Briggs succeed is through tight songwriting and an understanding of dynamic - that you can be powerful without charging off at 100mph.
Back To Higher Ground collects together a dozen tunes, all of toe-tapping tempo with catchy, shout-along choruses that bring to mind the obvious influences, but with the odd Strummer- or Bragg-esque moment that sets them apart from the pack.
"Song of Babylon" has a yearning, melancholy air that almost puts it alongside the likes of Alkaline Trio in the quality stakes, but the real failing - in what otherwise could've been challenging for one the albums of the year (American Pop Punk Category) - is that more than once you notice a lyric that needs to be shoehorned in or doesn't quite scan in a way suggests a little carelessness. With more time spent on polishing the words instead of the brogues, The Briggs could be genuine contenders.