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Quick Spins: Mean Creek, Girls, Jeff The Brotherhood

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 22, 2009 8:40PM

In which we take a quick look at a few recent musical releases.

2009_09_23_quick_spins.JPG Mean Creek
The Sky (or the Underground)

Mean Creek's Chris Keene and Aurore Ounjian hail from Boston so the fact that they graft boy / girl vocals over music that would have easily fit on the 4AD record label is hardly surprising. And it's when the group is in "epic" mode that they are most successful. Their new album The Sky (or the Underground) is full of tunes that fill that category. When the vocal breakers hit the shores on "Face of the Earth" we want to body surf between those lines. And when the album's highlight, the questing "Beg & Plead" soars and then dives amidst layers of seaweed (and we mean that both metaphorically and in reference to the band of the same name) the caterwauling guitars dive right back upward along Keene and Ounjian's intertwined pleas. It's nice to hear a baand reaching upward without resorting to overwrought cliches.


When Girls is on, they're on, and they're at their strongest when their songs reflect a mixture of teenage longing fueled by a peculiar sort of bouncy desperation. Chords chime and androgynous vocals chirp and squawk and endear the listener. The sense that these tunes are being sung out to a sunny afternoon from behind a heavy curtain lends songs like "Laura," "Lust For Life," and "Big Bad Mean Motherfucker" a dreamy and timeless quality. Imagine re-seeing the world from behind the distant memory of the adolescent hormonal haze and you have what Girls can convey in their more inspired moments. Unfortunately those moment s occur too infrequently and are too often displaced by aimless acoustic reveries that deliver on aimless atmospherics and miss the emotional mark.

Girls plays November 12 and 13 at The Empty Bottle

Jeff The Brotherhood
Heavy Days

Brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall play drums and guitar, making Jeff The Brotherhood yet another two-piece combo but don't immediately write them off for either that or the fact most of their tunes Ramones vocals delivered over stoner metal. There's an immediacy to their delivery, and an attempt to craft an interesting sonic dynamic beyond just making a wall of noise to bounce around their garage. We would totally go check these dudes out next time they come through town to play Mutiny or somewhere like that; they're perfectly suited to an evening of drinking beer straight out of pitchers catching the sweat dripping off the club's ceiling.

Jeff The Brotherhood plays October 10 at Bottom Lounge