JEFF the Brotherhood, We Are The Champions
If Weezer and the Ramones had a fistfight — and both of them won — you might get JEFF. These two dudes have a big sound that’s plenty immature, sentimental, fuzzy and fun. A couple of songs, including “Cool Out,” have a speedy punk clip to them, while others have a few dimensions to them.
The album has one of the funniest opening lyrics in recent memory, sung sincerely. After an airhorn and a nearly-two-minute spaced-out, ethereal stoner jam, the fuzz drops out and Jake Orrall hits us with a couple of chords and the softly sung lines “I’ve been thinkin’ about your mom / You can tell me if it’s really wrong / It’s been going on for way too long / I can’t help it if I am happy when she is around.”
And then, of course, more fuzz. Oh, and Jake’s been thinkin’ about your dad, too.
The takeaway? I want to see this band in a small venue as soon as possible.
Rave On Buddy Holly (Hear Music)
Music supervisor Randall Poster reeled in a whale of a lineup for “Rave on Buddy Holly,” an uncommonly good tribute album to the Lubbock, Texas, wonder who left behind a songbook of staggering quality when he died in a plane crash in 1959 at age 22. The Black Keys, Cee Lo Green, Patti Smith, John Doe, Justin Towne Earle, My Morning Jacket, Nick Lowe, Florence and the Machine — the list goes on. More to the point, pretty much every interpretation — from Fiona Apple and Jon Brion’s “Everyday” to Kid Rock’s “Well All Right” — tweaks the original arrangement just enough while retaining Holly’s essential innocence. The only real misstep is Paul McCartney’s take on “It’s So Easy,” which kicks up an impressive “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road”-style ruckus before losing focus on a strangely unhinged spoken interlude.
— Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer