Brother JT - The Svelteness of Boogietude (Thrill Jockey)

Brother JT brings the rock and the good times with his latest full-length release

Released May 13th, 2013 via Thrill Jockey / By Ben Wood
Brother JT - The Svelteness of Boogietude (Thrill Jockey) Humour in music gets a bad press sometimes. But life can be a bitch, and laughing at the great cosmic joke is often the only reasonable response. The Beatles larked around plenty - and they were pretty handy by all accounts.

This brings us to the mysterious Brother JT. Like Nashville nut-job Dave Cloud, John Terlesky is a man in his middle years, with substantial appetites and, at a guess, a total inability to function in polite society or hold down a steady job. Polite society's loss is our gain.

Terlesky spent years playing garage rock before developing his eccentric, psychedelically-inclined Brother JT persona. Proudly sleazy and slobbed-out, this chemically-altered alter ego twists the decadence, fat grooves and gigantic choruses of early 70s rock and funk into weird and madly entertaining new shapes.

Musically, there's a lot going on. For every denim-clad bong-hit like opening track, and slacker's charter, ‘Celebrate Your Face’, there's a delicately pretty, string-assisted ballad like ‘Gliding’ or ‘Mourning Dove’. And the grooves take many shapes: ‘I Still Like Cassettes’ hymns technological imperfection to some nifty disco, while ‘Sweatpants’ has a touch of Dirty South hip-hop to it.

Brother JT is a man of broad sympathies. Accompanied by stinging wah-wah solos and gospel-influenced Allman Brothers grooves, the Brother praises women's derrieres (‘Sweatpants’) and chubby midriffs (‘Muffintop’); thanks Satan for his good fortune (‘Somebody Down There’); prays to the church of Marc Bolan; and rhymes Tanqueray and Sister Ray in the self-explanatory ‘Things I Like’.

Elsewhere, the shamelessly nonsensical ‘Be A’ references early love before busting out into a stadium-tastic guitar solo. ‘Flotsam and Jetsam’ then closes proceedings with a great sax and screaming guitar strain before referencing Lou Reed and Dylan Thomas.

As the career of the Beastie Boys proves, there are few more entertaining sights than very clever people being very ‘stoopid’. As the man himself raps during the none-more-sleazy ‘Sweatpants’: “Life is hard enough / you should have some wriggle room.”

Amen to that, Brother. The Svelteness of Boogietude is packed with tunes, in-the-pocket grooves, sardonic one-liners and a gleeful sense of fun. Who wants to grow up, anyway? Screw that. Like the soundtrack to a deeply debauched party, this album is so much fun, it should be illegal.