Wednesday, July 11, 2012

JEFF The Brotherhood: "Hypnotic Nights" (album review)

On July 17th hard-touring Nashville brother duo JEFF The Brotherhood return with their new studio album Hypnotic Nights.

If you're not familiar with the Orrall brothers, they don't play the typical blues/garage rock that we've all come to expect from a band with a guitar/drum configuration.  By injecting keyboards and a keen ear, they lean far more towards power pop than most band's they would be compared to.

A sharp sense of humour in the songs doesn't hurt either.  Topics like booze, weed, and women may not be heavy subject matter, but they do present plenty of opportunities for fun songwriting, and JEFF The Brotherhood take full advantage.  The album kicks off with a playful ode to summer debauchery "Country Life".

The 'woo woo woo woo' refrain of "Sixpack" shows how sharp the pair's hooks can be.  The fuzzed-up relaxed Beach Boys' vibe of "Mystic Portal II" would soothe the most savage indie rock beast.

JEFF The Brotherhood can still be rough around the edges however.  While it may have an underlying synth line, it's the guitar dissonance that dominates "Wood Ox".  "Leave Me Out" grinds away, while "Dark Energy" virtually throbs.  Cranking the tempo up, we're treated to "Staring At the Well", a relentless banger.

Despite the album's title, there aren't a lot of tracks here that could be classified as 'hypnotic'.  The closer "Changes" has a haunting swirl, but the only truly hypnotic number is the Indian rhythm-infused "Region Of Fire".

JEFF The Brotherhood will never be mistaken for important high art.  However, it's just as important (or maybe even more important) to have music that is fun and enjoyable.  Hypnotic Nights is definitely that.

Best tracks: "Country Life", "Wood Ox"

Track listing for Hypnotic Nights:
  • Country Life
  • Sixpack
  • Mystic Portal II
  • Hypnotic Mind
  • Wood Ox
  • Staring At the Well
  • Leave Me Out
  • Region of Fire
  • Hypnotic Winter
  • Dark Energy
  • Changes

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