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Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Jan 29th, 2015

The World/Inferno Friendship Society: This Packed Funeral

This Packed FuneralThe World/Inferno Friendship Society
This Packed Funeral
(Alternative Tentacles)

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The World/Inferno Friendship Society has always had more of a cult than a fan base. Yet even those who had already drunk the gin-spiked Kool-Aid were somewhat disappointed with 2012’s The Anarchy and the Ecstasy. The band was coming off its most ambitious effort yet (the Peter Lorre concept album Addicted to Bad Ideas and its accompanying stage show) and dealing with numerous lineup changes. The Anarchy and the Ecstasy was the sound of them figuring out who they were at that particular point in time. Two years, a couple new faces, a couple returning old faces, and a heck of a lot of shows later, World/Inferno sounds more sure of themselves than ever.

This Packed Funeral is an all-around excellent album, brimming with confidence, bravado, and great tunes. Plus, as always, the band refuses to adhere to traditional genre roles. The title track is vintage Inferno, the long, languid intro leading into an all-out punk rock Bar Mitzvah. You like the hard and fast stuff? “Don’t Kiss Me, I’m Running Out of Lipstick” and “The Faster You Go, the Better You Think” is a knock-out, one-two punch. You like the fun, celebratory vibe of their live shows? In “Don’t Get Me Started, Don’t Get Me Wrong,” singer Jack Terricloth preaches to his choir before the whole thing turns into a second line parade with everyone singing along. Best of all may be “Dr. Dracula Who Makes You Get High!,” which blends punk, swing, and the kookiest of ’60s garage rock. Remember when The Standells guest starred on The Munsters? If they rebooted that show, World/Inferno would surely be the guests and this is the song they’d play. The thing that every track has in common is that they use complicated arrangements to serve fairly simple songs. This is one of the defining characteristics of World/Inferno and one of the main things that makes them a great band.

After the climactic “So Long Saving Grace,” there’s a minute-long track of silence before “The Lady With the Alligator Purse.” I think the reason they did this is because that last song doesn’t exactly fit with the rest of the album, yet it’d be a shame not to release it at all. It’s a pretty, basic punk ballad that doesn’t comfortably blend with the other songs, but also wouldn’t make sense as a single. But isn’t that a perfect symbol for the band themselves? Are they not a beautiful anomaly, peerless yet deserving of the place they’ve staked out? Is that not why they have their own cult?

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The World/Inferno Friendship Society: This Packed Funeral