Album Reviews

JEFF the Brotherhood – We Are The Champions

on June 13, 2011, 7:57am
jeffchampions D-
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If you’re going to name your album, We Are The Champions, you should be able to prove it. Brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall of JEFF the Brotherhood might think highly of themselves, but their new album doesn’t live up to that kind of self-proclaimed hype.

Both brothers are great musicians, and have dabbled in the business for quite some time, together and apart. However, this release comes off as a low budget, early Black Keys album: Sure, the distortion on the guitars is charming, but it does evolve into a stale one-trick pony. The best example of this is “Ripper”, which nearly reaches the five minute mark. Instead of shredding as it does throughout the whole album, the guitar whimpers, and, although the track does speed up, repetitive lyrics like “I don’t wanna/I don’t wanna” grow tiresome.

Amateur sidewalk poetry prevails, especially on “Stay Out Late”, where lines like “I want to go outside and play/and there’s nothing you can do to make me stay” only add to the overall underwhelming listen. In fact, throughout the album (and especially here), it seems as if the brothers were able to come up with a great punk riff, but couldn’t find anything worth singing about. Say what you will about punk music, but it can end up sounding redundant, and its up to the lyrics to differentiate. Another example of this is the strange “Hey Friend”, which features a gnarly intro, but falls short with the opening line “I’ve been thinking about your mom/you can tell me if it’s really wrong/It’s been going on for way too long.” On first listen, it’s comical, but it doesn’t give the song any real staying power.

Both “Wastoid Girl” and “Bummer” combine slacker anthem mentality with a slow and steady tempo, but even this album’s best moments barely qualify as passable. There’s just not enough there. It’s missing the meaning. It’s without any real weight. To play with the big boys, or to call themselves champions, these brothers will need to figure out what they want to talk about. Until then, they have nobody convinced.

6 comments

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J-bone
February 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm

fuck this guy, “come off as early black keys albums” ….once again, fuck this guy, sorry there not like kanye…psh 

radDUDEford
June 22, 2011 at 4:50 am

so the simplicity of the lyrics means JTB has no staying power… somebody better call up The Ramones. I agree with Rain Dog. These guys tore it up at Bonnaroo. I sort of know Jake and Jamin personally and nobody deserves all this attention more than they do. Bogus Bros for life. 

Rain Dog
June 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Been reading this site for three years – I don’t think I’ve ever been as embarrassed and disappointed by a review from a site I recommend. I’ll try to avoid bashing the reviewer and their obsession with the album title, and just point out the one thing that is definitive inaccurate – JEFF the Brotherhood have a TON of people convinced they are the real deal. Flew to Bonnaroo from San Diego, and heard so much about these guys from festival-goers that I skipped Arcade Fire to see them DESTROY some rinky-dink stage in the middle of Centaroo. Nearly a riot. Best show I saw all weekend, and I’ve been spinning this record ever since. Can’t urge people enough to hit up Google for a second opinion on this record – hate to see a small band struggling to break it get trashed on a reputable site for a record receiving consistently high marks elsewhere.

FrankSnap
June 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Normally I don’t pay much attention to Rolling Stone reviews, but when it’s a jaded vet like David Fricke, I’m listening. 3 1/2 stars, all glowing: last line “they back up the balls of this album title”

Awesomejohanason
June 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Eh, I’d trust the writer’s opinion more if he didn’t list Less Than Jake, MXPX and Billy Joel as his favorite bands.

Sara K
June 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm

you’re nuts. this LP blows my mind. the lyrics are about my life, and the riffs rule.