There's something about the Briggs' brand of working class punk rock that seems sacred. It's below the surface of their anthemic group sing-alongs, their marching drum beats, and their gritty muted guitar riffs. It's the thought that this kind of music will never be heard on Clear Channel radio or "Total Request Live," yet the passion and ferver with which the Briggs deliver their third full-length is unmatched by any mainstream act today.
Built on the foundations laid by Oi! and street punk bands like Cock Sparrer and Cockney Rejects, the Briggs sound nothing like the typical Southern California punk band, despite hailing from Los Angeles. Back to Higher Ground fuses everything good and pure from the traditions of street punk with a clean production that does nothing but benefit the overall quality of the album.
The title track kicks off the album with titanic group vocals strong enough to blow the roof off a cathedral. Brothers Joey and Jason LaRocca trade guitar and vocal duties on the album, creating a complementing combination that keeps the record tight yet interesting as different vocalists are featured throughout. "My Own Enemy" is one of the catchier cuts on the record, which is complete with an acoustic pre-chorus that blasts into yet another solid group vocal effort. One of the more ear-catching tracks is the biting anthem "Everyone's an Actor" that begins with creepy "oooooh"-ing that would fit well in a Tim Burton flick and leads into a "Bro Hymn"-type whoa-along.
Back to Higher Ground is as solid as any street punk album in recent years and serves as a pleasant reminder that the spirit of punk rock still burns strong in the proud and few who put their heart into what they love, not just what's popular.