We Are the Champions – JEFF the Brotherhood

If you’ve kept an ear to the ground regarding Nashville’s music scene, there’s no way you can miss Jeff the Brotherhood. They’re just now starting to get some serious attention, but they’ve been making rounds in Nashville for a good while. They’re known for 3 things: 1) being a sick live act, 2) being brothers, and 3) for their dad writing Taylor Swift’s album. The latter was seen as a stigma at one point in their career, and while the band tries to keep it under wraps, the publicity they get regarding that isn’t too helpful (see the kinda embarrassing “Jeff has the best dad” article.) Even though politics should be kept separate from music, it’s hard to with an up and coming band that’s as hyped as JEFF.

Before the naysayers jump down my throat and starting putting words in my mouth, let me just say that I don’t hate Jeff. I just don’t like some of the things they do. Their record label Infinity Cat is bullshit. The fact that they promote bands like Natural Child and Heavy Cream more heavily than they do PUJOL is a damn shame. While JEFF’s previous albums aren’t too bad, after four or five tracks, the music can start to feel monotonous.  In a live setting, it works better because of the energy in the songs, but on record, the energy wears out after a bit. It’s like staying in fifth gear the whole time. However, We Are the Champions has been getting sucked off by more than just the Scene and Nashville’s Dead, so I was interested to see if the band solved it’s problem.

The album kicks off with “Hey Friend,” a song that recently got the band named as “best new music” by Rolling Stone Magazine. The band continues their streak of having great openers on the album with this one. It’s got cool face-melting guitar riffs and licks over a steady drum beat. “Cool Down” is a different story. The metal guitar is cool for a bit, but gets old and a bit too cheesy with the high pitch noise over it.  “Bummer” has its moments, but doesn’t stay interesting for too long. “Shredder”and “Diamond Way” bring back the Heavy Days guitar riffs, but with quicker and tighter sounding drums. I dig the “Shredder” more though. “Endless Fire” is saved by the guitar tone, but definitely not the lyrics, which seem recycled (how many JEFF songs start with “I’ve been thinking about you lately”?).  At this point, I’m a bit skeptical about the record. It has it’s moments, but it feels like it’s going the same way as Heavy Days.

“Ripper” saves this album’s ass from being a dud. The heavy guitars behind a cymbal heavy beat were a cool intro, and when the tempo kicks up a notch, the song is fucking cool. I dug “Mellow Out” from they put it up for preview a couple of months back. It’s what made me want to give this record a try cause it didn’t sound like the JEFF I knew. It sounded different, catchy and pretty cool. The progression and execution of the song are just on key and great. “Stay Up Late” is good too, but the lyrics are pretty dumb. It’s not that big of a deal though, because the band’s chemistry and instrumentation carry the song and help make up for it. “Health And Strenght” is pretty cool for a minute or two. The whole “play a sitar to make a song psychedelic sounding” gets kind of old, but the brothers make it entertaining for a bit. The sitar solo at the end is worth the wait too. “Wastoid Girl” just didn’t click with me and I think it’s a weak closer.

The good news: JEFF is getting outside of the bubble and learning how to write tunes that will sound interesting on record and live as well. The bad news, they could only do six songs worth of it so far. They’re still learning, but this record shows a lot of progress, even if it’s not the strongest record. Needless to say, it’ll be interesting to see where the band goes from here and if all the attention they’re starting to get will affect them in the long run.  Only time will tell. You can hear a couple of tracks off the album below and grab “Mellow Out”. The record is out June 21st.

Hey Friend – JEFF the Brotherhood

Ripper – JEFF the Brotherhood

Download “Mellow Out” HERE

7 Responses to “We Are the Champions – JEFF the Brotherhood”
  1. jackson says:

    you write like a 3rd grader.

  2. zordon says:

    This sounds like a 9 year old wrote it

  3. 1234 says:

    although i must disagree and say i like the record.

    a.) heavy days is better.
    b.) this is pretty well written

  4. petersnackerrrrr says:

    ugh, this review is pretty awful. expected, but nonetheless awful.

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