Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Heavy Days” by JEFF the Brotherhood from the 2010 album Heavy Days on Infinity Cat.
Nashville brother duo JEFF the Brotherhood are bona fide punkers to the core (at least according to SLC Punk’s definition). Mosh-induced whiplash veterans Jake, 23, and Jamin Orrall, 21, said no thank you to Tennessee honky-tonk country, created their own record label, Infinity Cats, in response (Jake founded it in 10th grade) and went eight years playing house shows and roof top parties before coming into the limelight. They’re not a new band, nor some magical overnight sensation discovered by a mammoth label like so many of today’s hip groups. Their “debut” album Heavy Days is in fact their sixth full length record, as the two began cranking out JEFF music in 2002. Then high schoolers Jake and Jamin dumped their original hardcore project, The Sex, in 2001 to create a three-string guitar/drum beast of a band.
The guys have since evolved from a helter-skelter noise twosome (their first album included a 15 minute song) to a more ear-friendly punkadelic machine. Heavy Days reflects their experience and sound maturation, which makes sense as the two have since shared the stage with Ted Leo & The Pharmacists and legendary Japanese rock band Shonen Knife to name a few.
Pulling from early 70s hard rock, 80s post-punk and Southern madness, Heavy Days makes me want to mosh with all violence, jump off a mountain of amps (which Jake did a few weeks before CMJ except he fell and almost broke his neck) and pick up skateboarding. Opening track “Heavy Days” is a definitely a JEFF-101 piece. Tamed and more brit-punk than anything, it’s a safe glimpse into what the band is all about (the rest of their music is like “Heavy Days,” only much louder). Opening with soft buzzing bees and Jamin’s building drums, “Heavy Days” begins in a suspicous state of calm. Just when it sounds like the insects are about to sting, Jake comes in with surf guitar and escaping lyrics about kickin’ it with friends and going to the beach. He ends with “sometimes it’s nice to get away, it’s gonna be a heavy day,” something we all probably think about more than we should.
Check out Infinity Cats for tons of homemade music videos and hilarious photos of the brothers. If you’re in Southeast, definitely check their MySpace page right away to see if they’re playing soon near you. If not, you should check anyway because ‘the Brotherhood is winding across the country with a stop in Austin for SXSW. Hopefully, they’ll be back in Seattle soon. For now, enjoy an acoustic, played down version of “Heavy Days”: