BRAGGING LADS, THE: Half Empty: CD

Like Pogues-inspired punk, which is what I was expecting from the band’s name, the whole U.K.-via-OC punk thing is a very dicey prospect—move too far in one direction, you’re in meathead territory; move too far in the other, and you’re in bad glammy rock territory; tilt this way you’re neck deep in bonehead modern oi; tilt that way and you’re trolling around in the depths of the worst of the Social Distortion clones. These guys are quite the dancers, though, pirouetting through the much and balancing all the best bits—anthemic and catchy songwriting, non-wanky guitar leads up the wazoo, a singer that can growl ‘n’ howl in tune, and the wisdom not to take themselves too seriously—to come up with a full-length that puts ‘em in fine company along Mad Parade, Black Jax, and Channel 3, among others. Though the mix is a bit bass-heavy, they’ve got themselves quite the release here, and though it’s making for some mighty fine tuneage in cold-ass mid-February, it’s really gonna hit the spot come July when the windows are down and the volume is up full. –Jimmy Alvarado

 –jimmy (Collision Course)