Review: Bug-eyed nerd punks straight outta Seattle, The Briefs, are still kicking and "Platinum Rats" presents their fifth LP and first since 2005's "Steal Yer Heart". Still the bleach-blonde punks they ever were, the album holds down a spirit and ethos that will get the nod of approval from the fans of the Sex Pistols, Rancid and Fat Wreck Chords et al. With most songs clocking in at two-and-a-half minutes, The Briefs shred their guitars inside a frenzy of noise could have made it to Epitaph had it been the late '90s wonder years of punk. Still, being 2019, they find themselves on the Californian imprint Burger Records, founders of the annual Burgerama music festival. The Briefs go supersized.
Review: Given that they're renowned for the blistering, noisy nature of their no-nonsense records, it's a little bit of a surprise to see Scottish punk stalwarts The Skids serving up an acoustic - or at least semi-acoustic - album. For those used to hearing their snarling punk anthems, "Peaceful Times" makes for intriguing and at times arresting listening. Previously raucous classics such as "Fields" and "Animation" are re-cast as jaunty and jangling sing-alongs in the traditional Scottish style, while "Desert Dust" sounds like the sort of campfire sing-along that would be belted out by soldiers on the eve of battle. The same could be said of "A World On Fire", which now sounds like a country and rockabilly-influenced anthem.