We Are the Champions

We Are the Champions

Jake Orrall is the guitar/singing half of Nashville’s JEFF the Brotherhood, and he’s a fan of pedals and effects and generally of making a ruckus. Brother Jamin bashes drums, and the two of them churn out a curious blend of simple punk and vintage rock. WATC is a more naked homage to the Ramones than they’ve displayed on previous records, with Jake’s vocals often taking on a nasally, Joey Ramone hiccup delivering Ramones-ish lines like “I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna”; the guitars hit more in the punk vein than the classic-rock arena here (save for occasional guitar solos on tracks like “Hey Friend” and “Endless Fire,” and wah wah pedals on tracks like “Mellow Out”). But they inject their love for New York’s finest with their own JEFFy goofiness, adding acoustic guitar to the pummeling squall that ends “Cool Out,” threading sitar into the punky “Stay Up Late,” and wearing their goofball humor on their sleeve:  on the faintly proggy “Hey Friend,” Jake muses, “I’ve been thinking about your mom/you can tell me if it’s wrong/it’s been going on way too long,” and exclaims, “You’re so cool/I am too!” on “Mellow Out.” Champions? We think so!

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