Nashville’s preeminent sibling party-rock duo Jeff the Brotherhood seems like the sort of band that could exist in an episode of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! or Trailer Park Boys. They tread that fine line between fully embracing the beers-and-bros aesthetic of their psychedelic garage jams and adding a last-minute ironic wink after every wailing guitar solo (see: “Wood Ox”).
Take the lengthy cover of Black Sabbath’s piano ballad “Changes” that closes out Jeff the Brotherhood’s seventh(-ish) album, Hypnotic Nights: The vocal delivery is heartfelt enough to honour ol’ Ozzy, but the instrumentation is all cheeseball organs and bubbling sound effects. Their approach works better when they stick to straight-up guitar rockers, like “Dark Energy” and “Staring at the Wall,” especially the latter’s amped-up Foo Fighters vibe. And the entire album—guitar jams or otherwise—benefits greatly from Black Keys member Dan Auerbach handling production duties.
Admittedly, there’s an ample amount of fun being had on Hypnotic Nights—and much of that is hardly susceptible to critical buzzkill. But compared to bands that are far more committed to reckless abandon and capital-F fun (see: Andrew WK, Japanther), Jeff the Brotherhood would be better off drinking six-packs than singing about them.
Playlist picks: “Dark Energy,” “Staring at the Wall”