Band Aid: The World/Inferno Friendship Society
I’ve been proselytising about this band for years now, and yet it seems so hard to make people listen. Come on, people: this is the only street-romantic punk rock squatter/anarcho cabaret orchestra/band in the world. What does that ridiculous string of daft labels mean? Well, it means that the World/Inferno perform songs about being poor, dumb and having fun; getting kicked out of here and thrown out of there. Drugs and sex are all part and parcel of the black-eyed romantic package that vocalist Jack Terricloth does his utmost to infuse with living, breathing soul. The collective musical mass that is the World/Inferno Friendship Society has featured, as well as the traditional drums-bass-guitar trinity, piano, accordion, xylophone, additional percussionists, and more than a few horns. The one thing they’re missing is a string quartet, and reportedly that gets included at the annual Hallowmass show–the biggest event in the band’s year, and something that I one day hope to attend.
The band has shared members with the Hold Steady, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Leftover Crack, the Slackers, Dresden Dolls, Nine Inch Nails and Native Nod. That’s just the bands I know–check this shit out for a detailed list. Just look at that diverse, inventive roster. How awesome is that? The answer is very. Very awesome.
I haven’t said so much about their music yet, and that’s because there’s not much to say. If you’re listening to it, you’re dancing, or singing, possibly drinking, and if you’re really lucky you’re kissing. W/IFS tunes are inherently in love with life, seizing on and celebrating life at its best and worst. It’s a party, just the best party: you take the good with the bad, have fun, and don’t let it get you down.
To me, the World/Inferno Friendship Society, as well as being a unique and damn fine band–and a fucking good time both live and on record–are proof positive that music fans who fail to pay attention to the punk scene are missing out on a lot of very special material. Well, that’s their loss, and you shouldn’t let it be yours. Listen up, listen in, blacklisted, full-bodied, red.