Looking like a new wave band sharply dressed in skinny ties, bleached hair, and plastic sunglasses, retro-punks the Briefs blasted onto the Seattle music scene in the latter half of 1999. The charmingly snotty quartet took sonic cues from late-'70s British punk and early-'80s L.A. bands, wearing influences like Buzzcocks, the Adverts, the Adolescents, Generation X, and the Undertones on their collective sleeve. The Briefs quickly made a name for themselves locally with an energetic live show, cheeky humor, and undeniable hooks; they soon took their spirited sound nationwide, touring the country with such bands as T.S.O.L., the Queers, Flogging Molly, and the Adicts.
Originally comprised of Daniel J. Travanti (guitar/vocals), Lance Romance (bass/vocals), Steve E. Nix (guitar/vocals), and Chris Brief (drums/vocals), the band initially released a single on Dirtnap Records before issuing their debut album, Hit After Hit, in 2000. Writing songs as a collaborative process amongst multiple members, they returned with 2002's Off the Charts. Around this time, the Briefs signed to Interscope Records, but the deal eventually fell through before the band ever released a recorded note. Undeterred, the Briefs bounced back in 2004 with a new deal on BYO Records and another full-length effort, Sex Objects. BYO also reissued the band's first two Dirtnap releases that September. Touring constantly, the group followed up with Steal Yer Heart in October 2005. The record marked the recorded debut of the group's new bassist, Stevie Kicks (formerly of the Vancouver punk outfit New Town Animals), who joined after Romance amicably parted ways to concentrate on other projects. Romance remained involved in the band, however, directing the video for Steal Yer Heart's "Getting Hit on at the Bank." A singles collection, Singles Only, also appeared in 2005 on Revel Yell, and the band spent the early part of 2006 touring across Europe. They then headed back to the States for spring dates with the HorrorPops, followed by a hiatus during which Nix formed the Cute Lepers. ~ Corey Apar