Review by Josh Svetz
RIYL: Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, Queens of the Stone Age
Recommended Tracks: “Voyage into Dreams,” “Black Cherry Pie, “Cosmic Visions,” “In My Dreams,”
If you were to combine the dirty, big, grungy guitar riffs of The Smashing Pumpkins and the Slick harmonic and disinterested vocals of Weezer, you would get something like Jeff the Brotherhood’s Wasted on the Dream. The band’s 8th official LP and first studio album release in three years, Wasted on the Dream keeps up the quality that made Jeff the Brotherhood one of SPIN magazine’s “must hear acts” at 2011’s South by Southwest music festival.
The band, consisting only of brothers Jake and Jamin Orral, gives us great stoner rock, but sets themselves apart with their amazing guitar riffs that could rival some of the top guitar riffs by alternative rock acts today. However, the true beauty of Wasted on the Dream is their versatility, surprisingly. Now I’m not saying there is a deeper message to this album; through and through, it’s music to get stoned to, but it doesn’t fall into the same trap as most stoner-centric rock albums. It gives you multiple sounds. Jeff The Brotherhood can go from sounding like a full on stoner rock Weezer in “Prairie Song,” and then provide a sound similar to The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Zero,” evidenced by “In My Dreams” and even sound like a big, classic arena rock mixed with elements of Alice In Chains in “Melting Place,” which especially shows off the constant quality in the guitar riffs throughout the album.
The lone single released by the band, “Black Cherry Pie,” just screams to be a mid-90’s hard rock song with its sludgy, distorted guitars and lyrics that seem to come straight out of the 1996 alternative-punk scene–“There’s another piece of glass in my teeth/ Feels like everybody’s laughing at me/ Make me wanna put a knife in your eye/Black cherry pie.” If that isn’t reminiscent of 90’s alternative rock, then I don’t know what is.
Truthfully, it’s egregious to consider JEFF the Brotherhood a stoner rock band. They are so much more and they prove it with this new release. While you can still classify the album as music to get stoned to, it’s damn good music to toke up to.
Wasted On the Dream accomplishes more than typical, psychedelic and stoner rock albums that come about from time to time. Its shear versatility is impressive but becomes more impressive when you recognize what acts JEFF can emulate seemingly with ease, and the decades it can span musically makes it timeless.