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The Interrupters – ‘In The Wild’

Four albums into their discography and at the summit of their success thus far, you could forgive The Interrupters for veering off in a slightly different direction and forgetting their roots somewhat on fourth outing ‘In The Wild’. Well, how wrong you would be! Punk rock’s favourite family are back with their punchy, unique form of punk and they’ve peeled back the layers. The band are still definitely fighting the good fight, but ‘In The Wild’ is much less of a look outwards as The Interrupters opening their hearts in the most honest, authentic and direct way yet.

Despite being four years on from ‘Fight The Good Fight’ and completely different in terms of lyrical content, ‘In The Wild’ picks up exactly where they left off. It’s fresh, yet familiar. Interrupters fans will know exactly what to expect from the band thus far, but for those who don’t, think a cross between Madness, Rancid and early Green Day fronted by a hybrid of Joan Jett and Brody Dalle with a touch more polish, but not so much that it compromises that raw and gritty sound. Then multiply the energy by about a million.

‘In The Mirror’ is already a hit single in its own right and was the perfect choice to introduce us to the album, giving a glimpse into its raw, self-reflective lyrics bolstered by the band’s now-trademark catchy, upbeat, punk/ska sound as Aimee Interrupter told the story of escaping from trauma, seeking refuge and finding hope. Aimee Interrupter pours her heart out on this album and the Bivona Brothers help ensure it’s delivered in the most memorable way possible, which is no more prevalent than in album opener ‘Anything Was Better’. With an a cappella intro showcasing the incredible lead vocals on offer, it lulls the listener into a false sense of security before blasting them with everything else The Interrupters have to offer.

While The Interrupters are undeniably punk, the band’s ska roots are evident throughout the album with tracks like ‘As We Live’ featuring Tim Armstrong (Rancid) and Rhoda Dakar (The Bodysnatchers), ‘Let Em Go’ and ‘Kiss The Ground’. ‘Love Never Dies’ (feat The Skints) offers up some reggae while incredible rock’n’roll ballad ‘My Heart’ is reminiscent of one of the band’s first-ever tracks, ‘Easy On You’, in its emotional transparency. ‘Burdens’ (feat. Alex Desert and Greg Lee of Hepcat) adds all of the aforementioned genres with some gospel and rockabilly undertones in one of the most unique tracks on both the album and their entire discography, as the band invites listeners to join them in laying their burdens down in what’s just a completely cathartic listen.

The Interrupters take us on a rollercoaster of emotions and genres, but ‘In The Wild’ is an album of pure punk brilliance. From the incredibly raw ‘Raised By Wolves’ and ferociously fast yet composed and candid ‘Jailbird’, to an almost angsty pop punk outing in ‘Worst For Me’, while arguably the hero of the album ‘Afterthought’ instrumentally sounds every bit like The Interrupters of old. The aforementioned ‘Raised By Wolves’ may just be the centre-piece and standout of the lot, harping back to ‘Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me’ as it reveals why powerhouse vocalist Aimee Interrupter is a wolf among sheep while name-checking the album title – “You left a child out in the wild and I was raised by wolves.”

With the Bivona brothers providing the perfect punchy platform for Aimee Interrupter’s knockout vocals and lyrics, there are plenty of poignant lines to leave the listener breathless here. Take ‘The Hard Way’ for example, which contains the words “I never listened to what anyone else had to say, I learned everything the hard way”, and ‘Alien’ – an album ender which is sure to take everyone by surprise. ‘Alien’, alongside ‘Burdens’, is arguably the least Interrupters-style song on this 14-track offering, but is without doubt the most authentic, honest, genuine and simply heartbreaking. “My bones are the bars of a jail and I never felt completely female” delivers a powerful gut punch right from the get-go. While not being as “punk” on the surface as some of the other tracks on offer, a song about feeling like an alien because you’re struggling to fit in will be a familiar feeling for many and it’ll no doubt resonate with almost anyone who hears it.

As the title suggests, this album very much showcases The Interrupters in the wild – a band so comfortable in who they are that they can bring listeners into their natural habitat and remain completely honest and genuine. ‘In The Wild’ may just be The Interrupters’ greatest work so far, and definitely explores and showcases the band’s versatility. Recorded in their own purpose-built studio and with guitarist Kevin Bivona sitting in the producer’s chair, it’s easy to see why this album is the most personal in The Interrupters’ catalogue thus far. Add that to everything that’s brought The Interrupters to this point and ‘In The Wild’ may very well be the album that propels this one-of-a-kind quartet into bigger venues and even further up festival posters.

GARY CASSIDY
 
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