Jeff The Brotherhood @ Kilby Court 5.24 with Creature Double Feature

Posted May 29, 2012 in

To watch Jeff the Brotherhood strut about the stage, intermittenly plugging in cables, tapping cymbals and copping sips from indiscrimate bottles, is like watching a nature documentary. Creature Double Feature, an art punk quartet replete with feather earrings, flautists, sax players and some Tangerine Dream riffs, may have gotten things started, but my sickening fascination stays gooey and rooted in the duo occupying the stage right now. They may or may not be biological sibs from Nashville, collectively identified as Jeff the Brotherhood, who play the most melodiously monstrous conflaguration of classic rock, garage pop and noodling psychedelia this side of Screamadelica and Riot City Blues.

The lankier one fingers a three-stringed guitar comprised entirely of transparent plastic. His shaggy dog mop obscures his eyes and the unrepentant whisps of a neglected mustache bristle as he delicately twists a tuning knob. He bends over to expose a furry woodland tail clipped to his jeans, about 2 feet long and copper colored. Raccoon? Squirrel? Snipe?

His counterpart, clad in a grubby Spuds McKenzie shirt and tattered sneakers, perches behind his drum kit and growls laconically. I move forward tentatively, eager to observe the creatures in their natural environ. Weirdos, they may be, but they're damn compelling ones.

Dog mop mumbles something about being from Tenessee before wrangling a muddly squall of tangled riffery from his tri-stringed axe. I've taken post by the monitor and the hairs of my neck prickle. You bet it's loud, but like the endorphin rush from a swift kick to the nethers, I stay with it. "Hey Friend" morphs into "Ripper" and then into the tra-la-la mush of "Heavy Days" and "U Got the Look." The animals pay little regard for the sonic tumult around them, and lock into a subconscious groove suspended between them. Like ritual puppets connected to each other by invisible aural threads, they hem and haw around their tumult, weaving in and out of layered fills and solos.

Dog Mop strides over to a hunk of metal placed in the middle of the stage. Six or seven guitar pedals clutter the top of it, soldered to its surface. He places a flipper atop one, wiggles it back and forth and wrangles an unholy hypnotic flutter, somewhere between a cruise missile and a howling walrus, from the bowels of his Orange Marshall Sunn setup.

Someone makes a joke about SLC's early curfew, and the duo hits "Stay Up Late," a tuneful ditty about everyone else having fun. Spuds McKenzie frowns and slugs his drums with an air of detached nonchalance. "Growing" gets spread out slow and thick, jam on a bagel, and without warning, they ripsnort into a ten minute extendo jam. Loud and loose, like drowning in mallow-gunk. Like a honey IV drip. It is an electric funeral march for an exploding planet. The jam keeps growing—wider and wider, fatter and fatter, until it's stretched beyond the confines of Kilby and somewhere into the stratosphere. Dog mop thrums his head and Spuds keeps clattering, endlessly undulating, on and on and on and on until it can't go anywhere but down.

Dog mop thanks the crowd, Spuds sips a beer and the crowd shuffles uncomfortably in the cold newfound quiet since leaving the opioid womb. I bang my head, strum an invisible guitar and try to make sense of what happened. "It was good," I say. "It was tight." Still I feel at a loss as I move to my car and crank You're Living All Over Me. "I've got to get to their planet."