live review: JEFF the Brotherhood, The Coathangers, Heavy Cream @ 529

[EDIT:  This review was shared with Dead Journalist and can also be found here.]

The B.o.B. show at Center Stage wrapped up before 10:30, so I had plenty of time to get over to 529 for the stacked line up of JEFF the Brotherhood, The Coathangers, and Heavy Cream (I missed WYMYNS PRYSYN).

Nashville’s Heavy Cream plays aggressive, catchy punk anchored by an intense frontwoman who looks like Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby, but wails like Glenn Danzig on Walk Among Us. It’s awesome.

Atlanta locals The Coathangers took the stage next. This was the seventh time I’ve seen them play in 2010, and the setlist has been more or less the same every time. It’s a testament to how strong a live band they are that I’ve never been bored once. If you’ve only heard the albums, you really ought to see them live to get the whole picture. The songs are more raucous live, and they’re remarkably tight for a band that’s been learning on the fly since they got together a few years ago. They start shuffling around instruments about 3/4 of the way through their set, giving drummer Stephanie a chance to come out from behind her kit and go wild for “Cheap Cheap.” Guitarist Julia then gets the same opportunity on “Don’t Touch My Shit,” putting down the guitar because one more instrument would just be overkill anyway. They usually close the set with that, because where do you go from there?

JEFF the Brotherhood (also from Nashville) headlined. The band, which is made up of brothers Jamin and Jake Orrall, has improbably become the most interesting project associated with disbanded Nashville band Be Your Own Pet. When drummer Jamin left BYOP a few years ago to play in JEFF with his singer/guitarist brother Jake, it seemed like a bad career move. BYOP had the critics, Thurston Moore, and overseas audiences in their pocket, and Jamin left to play weirdo punk in the basement with his brother. They gained an audience both in Nashville and out on the DIY circuit, though, and now BYOP has broken up and JEFF is a legitimately emerging indie band in their own right. It helps that last year’s Heavy Days is their most accessible (and best) release to date, but much of their success has got to be due to what a fantastic live band they are.

JEFF’s sound is a combination of catchy stoner riffs, krauty jams, and faux-dumb lyrics that sound like an absurdist take on the early Ramones records. This stuff is made for sweaty basements and tiny rock clubs. On Saturday night, 529 was about as active as I’ve ever seen it. Heavy Cream and The Coathangers had strong receptions, but people started losing their shit over JEFF. Nearly everyone was moving, and there were more than a few crowd surfers.

The final song found the brothers locking into an krautrock rhythm while Jake moved out through the crowd and into the adjoining bar room. He nonchalantly played from atop the bar for awhile before deciding to make his way back to the stage, keeping the groove the entire time. Once he was back on stage, things got heavy again, and those that were still left at 2AM responded appropriately.

JEFF won’t be in venues this small for very much longer. Seek them out while you still have the chance.

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    • emilyhogan
    • August 6th, 2010

    I’m really bummed I missed this show, but I had to work so early the next morning. Nice review!

  1. October 25th, 2010

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