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They say the ’90s are back. Yuck sounds like Superchunk. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart sound like The Smashing Pumpkins. Stephen Malkmus sounds like Pavement. And on down. Nashville’s JEFF the Brotherhood once made sludgy, Wipers-style garage pop, but on We Are the Champions the duo channels, of all things, Blue Album–era Weezer. Hence some lightly baked fuzz, “whoa, oh, whoa” vocals, and very adolescent concerns. Opener “Hey Friend” starts with a hip-hop air horn, builds with a steamy power-blues riff, and then makes way for this lyric: “I’ve been thinking about your mom.” But it’s not grating. Like Rivers Cuomo did in 1994, you can still leaven heavy-metal riffage with brainy pop tropes and get away with it. Take or leave the references to Ace Frehley and Kitty Pryde.
JEFF the Brotherhood performs with Dry Feet, The Bad Doctors, and Foul Swoops at 8:30 p.m. at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. $10 in advance, $12 day of show.