In a year where my favorite retro wierdos Nobunny released an album, it hurts to receive Jeff The Brotherhood‘s album for review. Why? Because it’s so damn good, but so damn similar. No, the songs aren’t all under three minutes and the vocals aren’t hypermodulated, but there’s a similar garagepunkgrunge sound–a filthy, rowdy, fuckall attitude and seriously harsh licks on which both bands find common ground. Plus, like Nobunny, I feel like I’ve heard many of Jeff the Brotherhood’s songs before, even though I know I haven’t. It all sounds so familiar and sweaty–like my favorite old sneakers. I hear The Ramones, Sonic Youth, and lots of other three-chord power players. It’s high energy–the kind of music that makes you want to slam a car door, punch a wall, and kick a Nazi’s ass. It’s fight music.
The band is a two-piece that, I’m happy to say, sounds nothing like the White Stripes. I’m so sick of two-person blues bands. They’re boring. And Jeff the Brotherhood is anything but dull. These two brothers, Jake and Jamin Orrall, are at their best when the drums are played with a hammers and the guitar is slung fast. Heavy Days is their debut, on their own label (“Infinity Cat Recordings”–they apparently suck as bad at picking record label titles as they do at choosing band names). And the album is just about perfect–except when it slows down. “The Tropics,” a slow-ish cut, is a weak point here. But it’s more than made up for by the first four songs and the powerhouse instrumental “Heavy Krishna,” and the Beach Boys on crack “Bone Jam.”
This album, in two words, kicks ass.