JEFF The Brotherhood - Heavy Days

A gloriously filthy mess.

JEFF The Brotherhood - featuring tousle-haired genuine real life brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall, no less - may come from 21st century Tennessee but they’d certainly be way more at home in1970s New York as a pair of wide eyed rock brats jamming with the Ramones or hitting the town for a night of debauched mayhem with Iggy. None of their native country twinges are even remotely in evidence - this is stone cold rawk just like your grandaddy used to swig bourbon to all night long. The Orrall boys clearly like their rock straight up, no frills, on the rocks and keep ‘em coming. Their intentions are clear from the beginning to the last clanging chord - the question is, do you want to go along for the ride? One half of you will doubtless be cynical, screaming ‘Gawd help us, not more tight trousered, moustache-sporting derivative rock chancers!’ but - unless your heart is a lifeless lump of rock - the other half will be swept helplessly along with their boundless, artless energy before you know it. While listening to ‘Heavy Days’ might not be quite kick ass rockin’ enough to fill you with an unaccountable desire to grab your nearest pair of leather trousers, it may well still see you shimmying into your tattered biker jacket for a spot of light old skool mosh action. And let’s be honest - that’s all you really want sometimes, isn’t it?

Occasionally, as on ‘The Tropics’, the brothers Orrall get a little gloopy, riffing away aimlessly, creating music as a chug-a-thon guitar jam rather than remembering what was ever exciting about the song they originally started playing. Other times, they hit an accidental rockin’ riff and such as on the toe-curlingly titled but actually rather ace ‘Heavy Krishna’. Best of all is when they just let it all hang out but somehow in a controlled, tight, angled, choppy way such as on ‘Dreamscapes’. (And, by the way, with a title like that what exactly are your dreamscapes, boys? Judging by this little firecracker, ones involving inciting full scale city riots). ‘Bone Jam’ is another surefire winner, with gabba-gabba montonous deadpan vocals over a monumental riff that gives ‘My Sharona’ if not exactly a run for its money then at least reason to look nervously over its shoulder.

JEFF The Brotherhood are like your cool younger brothers creating something in your garage on a Saturday afternoon that makes your ears prick up as you leave the house on your way to a Sonic Youth gig. At best, they soar close to the fierce gung ho of prime MC5, but frustratingly they also veer towards the heard-it-all-before mediocrity of dronemongers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Clearly, they are aiming to concoct a sonic witch’s brew of vintage Hendrix passed through a mucky garage rock filter, which is a pretty tricky ambition to pull off. Of course they inevitably come up short, and end up creating nothing wildly new on the way but they often make a gloriously filthy mess trying to get there.

Tags: JEFF The Brotherhood, Reviews, Album Reviews

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