World / Inferno Friendship Society – This Packed Funeral World / Inferno Friendship Society – This Packed Funeral

World/Inferno Friendship Society - This Packed Funeral (2014)

World/Inferno Friendship Society – This Packed Funeral (2014)

At first listen of This Packed Funeral, the sixth full-length album by World/Inferno Friendship Society, I was left scratching my head. Scratching my head in a good way, as I wondered where the album would go next as the opening track “Dolce Far Niente” begins with Jello Biafra style vocals phrased in an undeniably catchy melody that go on to add layer upon layer of musical sophistication with each measure.

After the distorted bar chords came in and then the catchy chorus of male and female vocal harmonies, I thought I had it. World/Inferno is a rock-opera style punk band but with some sort of jazz/cabaret/Eastern European influences. Maybe that wasn’t the full scope, but I felt like I was close.

Truthfully, I still haven’t figured out how to concisely describe this band and this album. My reaction as I listened through the first track pretty much summed up my reaction to the whole the album. I listened with fascination and I kept wanting to see what would happen next. I felt like I was watching some Vaudevillian murder mystery and I couldn’t wait to see what the next number would bring.

The Brooklyn based band describes themselves as punk and soul, but I hear much more than that. The ensemble of band members is always changing with the number of members getting into double digits. The front man Jack Terricloth has remained the constant leader. The harmonies and solo singing of Sandra Malak, bassist and vocalist, really add a lot to the album. The vocal trade offs and harmonies add an extra dimension to the anthemic choruses that consistently spring up and rage on like defiant duets in a musical.

There are more than a few standout tracks. “American Mercurial” starts off with spooky rock operatic guitar riffs, followed by jazzy verses that almost sound like Cake (the band, not the confection), and then lead into a classic style of balladeering choruses. “Don’t Kiss Me, I’m Running Out of Lipstick” is a driving, catchy punk song that sounds like it could be in Green Day’s American Idiot musical. The title track shifts from slow, jazzy-lounge style vocals to a straightforward fast-tempo punk beat, epitomizing the band’s sound.

To sum it up, if you are a fan of World/Inferno and love their earlier stuff, you’ll be sure to like this album since it has all the hallmarks that make the band. If you’ve never heard World/Inferno Friendship Society before, you owe it to yourself to give This Packed Funeral a listen, because it will leave you scratching your head, too. Trust me. You’ve never heard anything like this.

This Packed Funeral Tracklist:
01 – Dolce Far Niente
02 – American Mercurial
03 – The Elegant Solution
04 – Don’t Kiss Me, I’m Running Out of Lipstick
05 – The Faster You Go the Better You Think
06 – Don’t Get Me Started, Don’t Get Me Wrong
07 – Taken Down a Peg, I Help Out the Squatters in the Subway
08 – Dr. Dracula Who Makes You Get High!
09 – This Packed Funeral
10 – So Long Saving Grace
11 – Untitled
12 – The Lady With the Alligator Purse

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