The Interrupters – In The Wild (Album Review) 

The Interrupters – In The Wild (Album Review) 

It seems bizarre to call a band that has been together for 11 years ‘new’, and yet, in the iconic realm of Punk, The Interrupters are still young. And no matter how you categorize them within that sphere, they continue to reign supreme with their latest, In the Wild, which arrived on August 5, 2022, thanks to Hellcat/Epitaph Records.

It was an entirely different time when we last heard from The Interrupters, back in 2018 with the release of Fight the Good Fight. Providing a push for progress, the Bivona brothers—twins Jesse (drums) and Justin (bass), along with brother Kevin (guitar)—and their firecracker of a frontwoman, Aimee Interrupter (née Allen), had created the perfect follow-up to 2016’s Say It Out Loud. Along with their eponymous, 2014 debut, each new release served as the impetus for bigger tours and wilder adventures alongside the likes of Rancid, The Mighty Mighty BossTones, Bad Religion, Green Day, Dropkick Murphys, blink-182, and many, many more.

With the passage of time and the attainment of a certain level of success, some bands begin to question their identity. Yet The Interrupters have only grown more confident in their approach, beginning to intertwine new influences throughout the core of their fourth full-length, In The Wild. At 14 tracks, and produced by their own Kevin Bivona, their latest is strong in its personal convictions, proud to have survived the past, and unabashed in its embrace of all things Ska and Punk. And attitude? Well, they have that in spades!

In The Wild maintains the band’s sonic identity, building upon their established foundation and allowing new influences to come to life. It also sees Allen offering some candid glances into her early life, like on the album’s initial track, “Anything Was Better.” California dreams and the search for something much greater fuel the energy of the opener, setting the groundwork for the Ska spell of “As We Live,” whose jumping beat features Ska icon Rhoda Dakar from the legendary Bodysnatchers along with the legend himself, Tim Armstrong.

From here, it’s a hopping, skanking blend of joy and sorrow. Allen returns to the autobiographical on “Raised By Wolves,” which sports a playful spirit despite its emotional tale. It also sees the powerhouse punk beginning to explore her own voice further. In fact, along with the Ska bop of “In the Mirror,” she clearly demonstrates a vocal evolution that sees her becoming increasingly comfortable in her role as frontwoman. But the same can be said for many of the album’s other tracks, including “Kiss The Ground.” Here, Reggae dips her into a lower range as she flutters like a bird on a wire.

This does not mean that The Interrupters have abandoned what they are known for; Ska or Punk or whatever label you’d like to slap on it. With succinct songs that sport straightforward lyrics, they imbue every ounce of their live energy into the likes of toe-tapper “Jailbird” and the chunky bass backbone of “The Hard Way.” The life advice that they are so fond of offering remains in tracks like “Let ‘Em Go” and “Worst For Me,” each a gentle urge to toss the negative influences from our lives and take back control. Though, when all else fails, there’s always a classy middle finger (“Afterthought”).

The wildcards of In The Wild, however, are a pair of songs with thick 1950s influences, the ballads “My Heart” and “Alien,” which provide throwbacks to the days of sipping milkshakes at the local diner before the sock hop. The latter goes beyond, lyrically speaking, allowing Allen to confess her sense of being an outsider who continuously fails to fit into this world. It’s a feeling that many of us can relate to, and for that, it’s an especially moving moment.

Capping off the collection, the Reggae soul of “Burdens” brings Alex Désert and Greg Lee of Hepcat into the fold. Sure, the chorus can get a little muddy with all those voices, but it’s the perfect complement to the sunny sway of “Love Never Dies,” featuring new-school British Reggae ambassadors The Skints. Both tracks offer authenticity, genuine fun and camaraderie, and a spirit that will not be dampened by life’s hardships. Which, in a sense, is who The Interrupters are, collectively speaking.

This is a commonality within the Punk community, where the sense of being a part of something greater than one’s self is a major draw. There’s a bulletproof strength in solidarity and in knowing that there are others, other aliens, just like you. In the case of The Interrupters, they might take their brand of Rock down multiple pathways, but there’s a fire inside their blood that blazes with the Punk icons of the past. With In The Wild, that flame is invigorated and burning brighter than ever. For this, Cryptic Rock gives The Interrupters’ latest 4.5 out of 5 stars.


 

 

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Jeannie Blue
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Jeannie likes to joke that she is little, yellow, blue, and different. She seemingly popped out of her mother's womb with a pen in her hand and has been writing ever since. Many moons ago - in what feels like a separate lifetime - Jean was co-editor of an online music magazine that afforded her great opportunities to interview and photograph some of her favorite bands/musicians: Tommy Lee, Good Charlotte, Warrant, Bring Me The Horizon, My Chemical Romance, Sevendust, New Found Glory, Deftones, Poison, VH-1 "Band On the Run" Flickerstick, an endless list of unsigned locals, and so many others. These days, she can usually be found hiking aimlessly through the woods in her favorite Technicolor sneakers with a Nikon in hand and her rescue dog, Molly, who is a bit hare-brained.

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