Concert Review: JEFF the Brotherhood
JEFF the Brotherhood
27 March 2015
By: Drew Parrish
“We’re gonna play a rock show for you guys.”
I think it would be pretty neat if every show began with a concise declaration of intent from the artist. If a show begins with the artist addressing the audience questions are asked? “How are you doing tonight? Or, “Are you ready?” If it is not a question its probably something like, “Good to be back.” Or, “Thank you for having us.” None of these statements bother me, and I am happy to respond in the language of claps and yells, but it was nice to told something where clapping and yelling as a response actually made sense, because a rock show is something to goddamn clap yell about.
A simple introduction by what appears to be a simple band; by the looks of the musicians that walked out onto stage right in front of me, doing rock show seemed to the sole reason these men get off the couch or put down the bong that’s way over due for a cleaning. With holes in their jeans, t-shirts that look like they hadn’t been taken off since puberty, and apathetic haircuts these boys from Nashville took the stage, made a declaration, and delivered.
JEFF the Brotherhood delivers a brand of rock that pumps youth, angst, apathy and guitar chords like Weezer’s Blue Album but meanders through psychedalia and dips its toes into the heavier tones of rock. Some have describe the band’s music as garage-rock, or stoner-pop, but honestly I think I nailed right before the show, when I texted a friend and described them as “lazy boys with loud guitars.” The persona of the band never seems to aspire to more than that, and never seems to want to. Two guitars, one bass, three drums, and two symbols were all it took to make their music, and one bright light that looked like it had been lifted from a construction site, operated by the drummer and a footswitch, was the extent of their stage effects. And that, it turns out, is enough to play a rock show.
I imagine the band is playing in high spirits right now as their latest album was released two days before the show. The album, Wasted on The Dream, is the major label product of a Warner Bros contract, but released on the band’s self-owned indie label Infinity Cat. Apparently they were dropped from the big leagues, but not before the record was made, meaning we get a polished and focused album complete with an Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) flute appearance. They brought tracks from the record to the Soda Bar, such as “Black Cherry Pie”, and “In My Dreams,” but definitely did not pursue a polished, big label mass appeal in their show. Rather they stuck to their unpretentious agenda and powered through chords, ripped solos, jammed out songs, and mumbled through lyrics.
JEFF’s sound has a tinge of ambition to it, like it wants to become big rock and roll, for big venues. The way they transition from an under spoken rhythm to a clash of guitars seems like it would benefit a huge excitable, non-thinking audience. Yet the ethos of the band fit well into this venue with no separation of stage and people.