June 25, 2018 The Interrupters – Fight the Good Fight (Album Review)
Despite the many hardships, both personal and sociopolitical, that we witness in the world around us each day, we have to always remember to man (or woman) up in the name of progress. Of course, having some sonic inspiration to turn toward never ever hurts, and The Interrupters are providing some serious muses on Fight the Good Fight, which arrives this Friday, June 29, 2018, thanks to Hellcat/Epitaph Records.
Formed in Los Angeles, California in 2011, this Ska Punk outfit is a family affair, comprised of the brothers Bivona – twins Jesse (Drums) and Justin (Bass), along with brother Kevin (Guitar) – as well as Vocalist Aimee Allen, aka Aimee Interrupter. Underdogs who have been doing their killer best for some seven years now, the band made their full-length debut with 2014’s The Interrupters, and followed it up two years later with their sophomore release, Say It Out Loud. Dedicated road dogs, the quartet have toured with all of the Punk and Ska legends, including the likes of Blink-182, Rancid, Green Day, The Mighty Mighty BossTones, Bad Religion, Dropkick Murphys, Less Than Jake, The Transplants, Reel Big Fish, and more. They are, of course, veterans of the Vans Warped Tour, and as of July 14, they will join the tour’s grand finale, cross-country run.
When you are making a living being punk in drublic, it certainly does not hurt your cause to bring in the legendary, Grammy Award-winning Tim Armstrong to produce, nor does it do harm to have the Grammy Award-winning Tom Lord-Alge (Blink-182, Weezer) handling mixing duties. Together, the pair helmed the 12-track Fight the Good Fight, and helped the band to channel the raw energy of their inspired live performances into the recording, which was done almost entirely to tape.
Fight the Good Fight kicks off to a Ska-licious anthem for living like a champion and never breaking down, “Title Holder,” with its positively uplifting infectiousness. The Rancid influence here is strong and, while like so many songs of the genre, this is a rather simplistic little ditty, it is also a fully enjoyable, dance-able creation that will force a smile onto your face! Next, The Interrupters invite listeners to try not to clap along to “So Wrong,” a catchy apology from a not-perfect individual to the lover who they wronged.
“I’ve been burned for the last time!” is the rallying call of the Ska Punker “She’s Kerosene,” the album’s first single/video, a story about an explosive gal told through the eyes of her weary match. Ah, sweet love and arson, let us dance! Then, they dip into ominous beats on “Leap of Faith,” a promise that one leap could change your world, told through a sultry hip-shake. Here, Aimee dips down to the lower end of her vocal register to lead a track that sounds Mafioso Punk but offers up hope to the masses.
“We don’t have much, but we’ve got each other!” is the celebratory call of the aptly-titled “Got Each Other,” which features those titans of Ska Punk, Rancid. Understandably, the resulting track is a massive Punk anthem and joyous sing-along for friends, family, and the friends that become family. Next, they go heavier on the Ska for the bouncing step of “Broken World,” a look at our society, divided and barely able to stand. No lines are drawn, instead The Interrupters make some key observations about what must be done to repair our damaged foundations, and they do it all in that damned catchy, infectiously joyous style that we all know and love.
A lament from a lover who “Gave You Everything,” this track goes for a more gently somber, emotional mood (but still with grit and wit!) which sees Aimee soaring, vocally speaking. In fact, this almost seems like a guaranteed inclusion for a teen film soundtrack, where our heroine is at the end of her leash, romantically speaking, but still trying to force a smile. Somewhat conversely, Aimee perfects her all-business attitude and punky monotone delivery on the bopping Ska of “Not Personal,” which contains one truly fabulous and rockin’ guitar solo.
At just under two-minutes in length, “Outrage” is a sucker-punch of sociopolitical commentary, rocking through talk of facades, hurt, the Powers That Be, and the absolute inhumanity of the times in which we live. Will we be the generation that changes this all with our outrage? Meanwhile, “Rumors and Gossip” traffics in the sick and toxic lies that we should all seek to avoid – you know, those backstabbing, melodramatic types.
Wishing the devil away, “Be Gone” wags a finger in the face of negativity and stands strong in the name of all those we have lost, all while setting a party pace to celebrate those lives. Ultimately, they close out the collection with a tribute to a fallen comrade and the more somber mood of “Room With a View,” a request for a seat saved in that beautifully fluffy afterlife. With the majority of tracks on Fight The Good Fight clocking in at just under three-minutes, this makes for a rather short album, but one that still packs a delicious Punk punch that resonates for far longer than its run-time. An excellent sonic sparring, indeed!
There is a loose theme running throughout Fight the Good Fight, one befitting of the album’s name, a gentle shove toward social awareness and action, and the inspiration to continue to trudge onward despite these times of personal woes and worldwide moral outrage. It is hard not to compare The Interrupters to greats such as Rancid (particularly the 1995 classic …And Out Come the Wolves), as they are deliciously catchy while always remaining gritty, never ever touching on Pop but always keeping it upbeat in tone. Fight the Good Fight is, therefore, a modern Punk classic that is guaranteed to invite a new legion of fans out onto the dance floor to skank their troubles away! Loving the dynamic, CrypticRock gives The Interrupters’ Fight the Good Fight 4.5 of 5 stars.