Wasted on the Dream is an album that I really want to like. No matter how hard I try though, Jeff the Brotherhood has made it pretty difficult.
With eight full albums in tow, Jeff the Brotherhood has come a long way since their early high school beginnings in 2001. The band, composed of two actual brothers, Jake and Jamin Orrall, hail from Nashville, Tennessee.
Held up as the album most true to their roots yet, Wasted on the Dream makes me afraid for how much I enjoyed their more dishonest pieces of work. If anything, I feel as though Wasted on the Dream is the brothers’ least cohesive and characteristic album. It rings with their typical party-rock feel, but wholly lacks their usual thrilling spark of raw sound.
I held out hope for the album up until I began to hear hints of Weezer in the Brotherhood’s guitar riffs. It was at this point I closed the door of my room so none of my housemates could mock me for listening to something so kitschy.
Wasted on the Dream is basically a G-rated stoner-rock album. Pitchfork writer Ian Cohen aptly compared it to “’responsible’ parent[s] letting the high school kids get drunk at their house because they gotta do it somewhere.”
“Cosmic Visions,” the album’s third song, embodies those college freshmen who just found out about alcohol and can’t stop talking about how many Mike’s Hard they can pound back. It is an anthem for people who spend all their time trying too hard to look cool.
Featuring Best Coast front woman Bethany Cosentino on “In My Dreams” also seems like desperate parental grab at relating to the “hip” kids.
I am reluctantly disappointed in Jeff the Brotherhood. After recent binge listens to the band’s 2012 album Hypnotic Nights, I wonder what has been lost in those three years. The band feels less energized, less enthusiastic. Perhaps they have been caught in the loop of only creating music that they’ve succeeded with in the past.
The largely negative criticism of this album, however, could potentially be a wake up call for the brothers. Rock and roll can’t survive solely on writing minorly catchy songs about smoking weed and drinking beer.