Positioned as the final installment of a "spiritual trilogy" that also encompasses 2009's Heavy Days and 2011's We Are the Champions, Zone arrived some time later chronologically. Five years, to be precise, a half-decade marked by a failed sojourn at a major label and the palette-cleansing Global Chakra Rhythms, so Zone could also be seen as the record where JEFF the Brotherhood get back to their heavy indie roots. That's somewhat true. It's raw and cacophonic, the work of a band reveling in all the nasty noise they can conjure. These flights of feedback can mean that a good portion of Zone floats by on pure texture. JEFF the Brotherhood still haul hooks -- "Juice" has guitars and vocals intertwining in an approximation of power pop, "Idiot" powers through on a heavy-booted glam stomp -- and at times, the fog of amplification lifts, as on the hushed "Ox," so this isn't a monochromatic record, although the volume and velocity sometimes suggest otherwise. Blame that on how JEFF the Brotherhood now favor the Smashing Pumpkins over Weezer in their '90s nostalgia. It's a better vehicle for spiritual aspirations -- it's heavy and open-ended, just like any mystical journey.
|Label:||Dine Alone Records|