Take one part good Weezer, one part Wavves, one part Nirvana and you might get the picture on what JEFF the Brotherhood is like. A high-octane garage rock duo from Nashville, Jake and Jamin Orrall are a lot of damn fun. Jake has a bit of Rivers Cuomo in his vocals, both in voice and melodic style. Hooks are what will win you over with JEFF–Jake is a master of hammering hooks out of this DIY punk aesthetic.
The duo carry a reckless abandon in the way they play their instruments without precision or painstaking complexity. Like Kurt Cobain or Nathan Williams (Wavves), JEFF shreds fuzzed-out guitars, while the drums pound away at a fervent pace. Jake’s lyrics are amusingly simple, like rhyming “sun” and “fun.” This works because again, this is a rock band doing things very raw and very off-the-cuff. “Stay Out Late” is a buzzsaw of an anthem, no frills garage rock. “Hey Friend” “Endless Fire,” (which is right in Weezer’s wheelhouse) “Health and Strength,” (a pretty sweet Indian weirdo song) and “Diamond Way” are four out of the eleven songs that carve out enough space to keep this album from being too much of blaze. These breathable songs do so much for the cohesion of the album, to ensure the listener doesn’t choke on the power chord overload.
JEFF the Brotherhood, as I’m sure you can gather, won’t win you over with technical skill the way more polished bands will. But for thirty-four minutes, JEFF is entertaining as goddamnit. It goes to show, scuzzy hooks will always be a way to make engaging music, even if the genre is well-worn. So, do yourselves a favor and check out We Are the Champions, an endlessly rewarding firecracker of an album.