Jake and Jamin Orrall, more formally known as Nashville’s own JEFF the Brotherhood, released their first major-label studio album Hypnotic Nights out of Warner Bros. Records July 17. The album, co-produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach out of his Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville, is the follow-up to JEFF the Brotherhood’s 2011 self-produced We Are the Champions. Released out of their own Nashville studio, Infinity Cat Records, Champions shot the duo into the national spotlight, as did their relentless touring across the world and immense dedication to their Middle Tennessee roots, playing copious shows around here whenever home. As their home’s personal appeal remains steady in spite of all the success, this modern, signature-Nashvillian, psychedelic stoner, garage rock sound of JEFF the Brotherhood remains just as steady on the 11-track Hypnotic Nights. It is filled with the brothers’ minimalistic drum set-up and three-stringed guitar adding only a little more instrumentation and distortion than Champions to further their personalized feel for the world in this latest.
With that said, the two leading tracks—“Country Life” followed by “Six Pack”—are Hypnotic Nights’ homage to their down-home roots with hard grunge guitar and relentless bean-freaking drumming; adding in spits of synthesizer, steady hand-clapping, and the recognizable “woo-ing” throughout the chorus in “Country Life,” while in the cymbal-heavy “Six Pack,” the shortest track out of all 11, iterates through the lyrics about the youthful Southern scenester’s tradition of gearing up for a night on the town. Afterwards, musically and lyrically, the psychedelia begins with “Mystic Portal II,” introducing a stoner xylophone and sitar-flavored guitar distortion from Jake Orrall and continuing through other spacey gruff like “Hypnotic Mind” and through the album’s latter, “Hypnotic Winter” and metal march “Dark Energy.” The cleanest, least distorted song over the course of all that is “Wood Ox,” written about the duo’s own personal ox found in the woods. Maybe a metaphorical ox. Maybe not.
Magnificence lies in the stoner’s dream lyrics and hard-punching dissonance, but the musical structure stands out more so this go-around than it did in We Are the Champions, as they experiment with timing on most of the tracks, weaving in and out of the of song’s original rhythms, almost chasing themselves around before elegantly pulling back together two or three times before each track abruptly codas out leaving listeners wanting more. Unfortunately, the longest song on the album stands a little over 4 minutes. The prime example of their time-tampering is in the final track, “Changes,” as each verse steps up half a note while they goof off in and out of the initial pace. A growth into their own is recognizable the way Weezer’s occurred within their first few albums. Just with a Nashville twinge.
If you’ve seen them, you know the guys pedal their wares heavily at their live shows or sell freshly pressed copies at Infinity Cat Records and Nashville record shops such as Grimey’s. Copies are also available for download in all the normal outlets (iTunes, Amazon, etc.), but if you’re raring to get a live show in and personally retrieve a copy, JEFF the Brotherhood has been headlining their tour since the beginning of June, along with Best Coast, with the last stop at Lollapalooza in Chicago on Aug. 5.
For more information and updates, visit jeffthebrotherhood.com.