On Valentine’s Day, Columbus, OH quartet Miller and The Hunks (@millerhunks) will release the EP & titled & Jeff…Part II, which is the perfect day to showcase the romance-themed alternative/new wave album. Lead singer, synthesist, and sole songwriter Colin Miller has concocted six tracks that most people can relate to during these stressful social times. This record ought to be a big hit with concertgoers when the band performs live this Saturday, February 17 with solid support from The Turbos, The A.M. Soul Society, and Courtney From Work.
Recorded in Nashville, the EP kicks off with “Need to Know”, a tune with slick synthesizer play, solid drum work, and a crisp guitar rift in the first 30 seconds. The track starts at a slightly slower pace than normal Hunks fare, but in about the middle things pick up to provide head and fist bangers something to rock out to. The second track “Sex Ain’t Love” is appropriate for the upcoming romantic holiday and is a commentary on lust’s impact on judgment and fulfillment. This is sure to be a track that garners the band a great deal of empathy from the horny and empty.
The third song, “I Don’t Care” starts slow but introduces crunchy guitars and Miller’s wailing a half-minute later. This is the one track that should remind listeners of The Killers, although for the most part Colin Miller and Brandon Flowers’ vocals are separate entities. The song could be in either group’s set list and not seem out of place. The next tune “Sided System” is straight out of 1984 and works here as one of the album’s ballads. The standards of radio-friendly tracks back in the day were different and this would have soared up the charts three decades ago.
The 1980s are alive and well on the fifth song “Waste Your Time”, which should draw comparisons to Wall Of Voodoo and R.E.M. of 30 years ago. It also sounds like it would be brilliant for radio play on Alternative stations. The last track is “Meat You Again” and is the record’s second ballad and is jazzed up much more than “Sided System”. This will be the slow-dance jam of the night at the upcoming concert. Perhaps Miller can market this song to high schoolers just in time for prom season.
& Jeff…Part II is a melting pot of genres, styles, and speeds which works like a charm for Miller and The Hunks. Colin is known for mixing things up on each album and this record is no different. It prevents the band from becoming stale and pigeonholed, which would only harm its fan base. The band can be randy, funny, and serious all in one album. It is probably the reason why they have been going strong for the past several years. Fans of their prior releases will likely enjoy what the group has presented here and due to the EP’s diversity, some fencesitters might embrace it as well.