The Be Your Own Pet lineage has some hits and misses. Outside of the Nashville teen-punk group's own largely enviable catalogue, there is the shouty, solo, cameo-heavy pop-punk of frontwoman Jemina Pearl, which was co-written with former bandmate John Eatherly. And on top of several lesser-known projects, there is Eatherly's main band Turbo Fruits in which he plays with another ex-pet Jonas Stein. These bands all share(d) a jittery, art-punk college-rock heart.
Although similarly located in Nashville, it's a heart that further BYOP alumni JEFF The Brotherhood ultimately rip out and eat on Heavy Days - an album far from in keeping with tradition. Nevertheless, there is a tight brotherly relationship that comprises the band (Jake (vocals/guitar) and Jamin Orrall (drums)), and together they keep it in the family operating under their dad's label Infinity Cat.
Opening with a swarm-of-bees sample on the title track "Heavy Days", the Orrall boys crunch through reverbed riffs and wah-wah pedal indulgence before devolving the project into hugely likeable, Kyuss-like stoner-rock sludge overlain with an insidiously affecting vocal monotone.
Employing the simple, drowning-in-fuzz enthusiasm of Japandroids, the pummelling drone of "Heavy Damage" recalls the brand of hardcore as popularised by Hüsker Dü, though put through a filter of Dinosaur Jr.'s own acerbic design. "Dreamscape", however, is full of unpretty grunge and wah-wah reprises.
Weezer's forgotten "Hash Pipe" is re-envisaged for the dumb growl of "Growing", and, one half of the preceding double A-side, "The Tropics" toys with fuzzed-out guitar lines that recall a beefier version of The Jesus & Mary Chain's vitriolic "Snakedriver". Before, that is, they head the whole ship into grungier psych waters à la Amazing Baby.
"Heavy Krishna" (there's a theme developing if you hadn't noticed) is a damn fine instrumental drawn out into, unsurprisingly, heavy psych-rock, whereas the lighter and poppier "Bone Jam" is punctuated with frivolous "oohs" amidst the ubiquitous fuzz and guitar spirals.
Together, the brother's latest offering is impressively cohesive, the boys' tight playing having developed over their five previous albums since forming in 2001. Heavy Days is the first to get international exposure, and one that will now surely open the floodgates to immediate back-cataloguing thanks to the joyous racket it showcases.