Ok, first a confession. I must admit that I would at like on principle any band with a song entitled Canonize Philip K. Dick, Ok? That said, like that track from Anarchy and the Ecstasy by The World/Inferno Friendship Society is so smoothly schizophrenic and manically (maniacally?) enthralling I wouldn’t love them any less even if they preferred Heinlen.
As for genre, depending on the album, or rather song, or even sections of songs in some places, World/Inferno are all over the place. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a sloppy salad bar serving portions of yesterday’s leftovers. This is a scintillating symphonic smorgasbord of influences combined to form fusion genres so powerful they could be dangerous.
One thing you’ll certainly catch are strains of lounge. There were parts where I may have picked up a note of Dixieland or even Zydeco. Definitely some klezmer feel to it. Once again though, it depends on the song. They’re classified as punk and it’s wild and energetic stuff but it’s as frenetic as it is orchestrated. Elsewhere on the album you might pick up strange mixtures of Parisian cafe music, Gypsy jazz, post-punk and exotica. Oh and of course Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht’s compatriot not the Pennsylvania indie rocker.
On one of my favorite tracks from the new release, Citizen of Jazz, while struggling to keep up I think I heard a bit of rockabilly and maybe even a hint of Sergio Leone style spaghetti western… but like so much of the music as soon as you try to put your finger on what you’re hearing it evolves. Once again, it’s such a smooth transition that unless (like me) you’re making notes as you listen, you just might miss it.
If asked for the standard RIYL, off the top of my head, if you had a gun to it, I’d probably pop off with Polyphonic Spree, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Cake, Gogol Bordello maybe even the Pogues and Elvis Costello? Then I’d probably break down in tears asking why you’re holding a gun to my head while requesting recommended if you like’s.
That said, there’s nothing teary or depressing so to speak. Listening to the album, for me, was somewhat like having your own personal marching band charged with clearing the gloom from your day. Not that I’ve experienced that per se, but I do sort of feel like I have now.
Another standout in my opinion would be The Cat In The Hat Has The Right To Sing The Blues is another interesting tune that bounces between a sort of faux new-wave pop and legit groovy carnival rock. I’ll Be Your Alibi sounds like the A side to an album created by a genetic amalgamation of David Bowie, Neil Diamond and INXS’ Michael Hutchence. This is one of the more melancholy tinged tunes on the album, but it manages to be bluesy without feeling overly blue.
Another I really felt strongly about was The Roosters Are Coming Home To Crow. I’m exhausted from trying to decode the genome of the album track by track so instead of trying I’m just going to say that if you’re musically adventurous, give this a go.
All Borders Are Porous to Cats is the band’s 7th full length album but only their second on Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label following up their AT debut in 2014. The band is technicallly a musical collective with about 7 to 10 regular touring members and several other auxiliary bandmates with front man
Jack Terricloth the tie that runs through the past 22 years of their varying incarnations. Terricloth’s rich baritone, commanding stage presence and good taste in musicians will hopefully result in many more years of touring and many more albums.
As for now, the latest platter drops January 17th but is already available for pre-order from Alternative Tentacles on CD or as an LP/download combo. In the meantime, you can head to their Bandcamp to listen to a track from the upcoming album.