An actual brotherhood, though not actually containing anyone named Jeff, JEFF the Brotherhood is the brainchild of brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall (who also played in Be Your Own Pet). The sons of successful songwriter Robert Ellis Orrall, the Nashville duo started out in 2001 while they were still in high school. Combining psychedelic rock, garage, and power pop influences, the pair have cultivated an eccentric, driving sound that explores the boundaries of rock & roll without forgetting the importance of a solid melodic hook, at times evoking a heavier but more stripped-down version of Cheap Trick. Through their own Infinity Cat label, JEFF the Brotherhood created a prolific body of work starting in 2002 with I Like You. The band followed up with a quick run of limited albums, including 2005's The Byzantine Empire, 2006's Castle Storm, and 2008's The Boys R Back in Town. In 2009, the pair released their first widely distributed album, Heavy Days, and expanded their fan base to include the indie set through collaborations with Best Coast and Screaming Females.
The year 2011 would also prove to be big for JEFF the Brotherhood, with the band releasing the live album Live at Third Man through Jack White's Third Man Records, as well as another full-length, We Are the Champions. Their next album found the band participating in two high-profile team-ups, first recording with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, and then signing on with Warner Bros. to release their 2012 album Hypnotic Nights. In 2014, the duo followed up with Dig the Classics, an EP that found them tackling covers of artists like My Bloody Valentine, Pixies, and the Wipers. The brothers returned to the studio in 2014 with Joe Chiccarelli (My Morning Jacket, the Strokes) to record their second album for Warner Bros. Wasted on the Dream saw the pair joined by bassist Jack Lawrence on all tracks, with guest spots from Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, Diarrhea Planet's Evan Bird and Emmett Miller, and Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson. However, the band and the label had a serious falling-out, and in February 2015 JEFF the Brotherhood announced they were no longer Warner Bros. recording artists, and released Wasted on the Dream on their own Infinity Cat label in March 2015. Freed from major-label pressures and expectations, they quickly followed up in November of the same year with Global Chakra Rhythms, a hazy, experimental double LP that found them returning to the more lo-fi psych sound of their earlier days. That return to their roots continued on 2016's Zone. ~ Gregory Heaney