World/Inferno Friendship Society - Addicted to Bad Ideas (Cover Artwork)

World/Inferno Friendship Society

World/Inferno Friendship Society: Addicted to Bad IdeasAddicted to Bad Ideas (2007)
Chunksaah Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: LiamSKLiamSK
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The World/Inferno Friendship Society return with their eclectic brand of cabaret punk that's been gracing the punk scene for a decade now. The band features the striking, smooth vocals of Jack Terricloth as the lead singer with support from many New York-based musicians including the Hold Steady's F.
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The World/Inferno Friendship Society return with their eclectic brand of cabaret punk that's been gracing the punk scene for a decade now. The band features the striking, smooth vocals of Jack Terricloth as the lead singer with support from many New York-based musicians including the Hold Steady's Franz Nicolay on keyboard and accordion and Ara Babajian and Lucky Strano from Crack Rock Steady bands Leftover Crack and Morning Glory, respectively. World/Inferno combines these individuals with a wealth of other musicians to craft their utterly unique and difficult-to-define sound that has inspired such a fervent cult following.

Their back catalogue combines their Vaudevillian cabaret sound with a strong, but undeniably enjoyable anarchic rhetoric and numerous archaic pop-culture references to create an infectious swing-punk sound which has seen countless punk kids waltz-dancing in front of the stage during live shows. They stretch their ambition further on this album, their sixth full-length release, as the band detail the life of Peter Lorre, an Austrian-born Hollywood star who came to fame in the 1930s and who suffered at the hands of depression, bankruptcy and addiction before his death in 1964.

The album begins with ??Peter Lorre's Overture,' an instrumental piece which slowly foreshadows the next ten tracks and closes with a new recording of "Peter Lorre," which was first found on 2002's Just the Best Party. World/Inferno have attracted some criticism for re-releasing tracks after 2006's Red-Eyed Soul featured many songs already released a year previously on the Me vs. Angry Mob EP. This may go some way to explaining why "Fiend in Wien" from the 2006 album was cut from this album at late notice. The album does feature a new recording of "Ich Erinnere Mich an Die Weimarer Republik" ("I Remember the Weimar") from East Coast Super Sound Punk of Today, and, to bring the album to a close, an especially outstanding new recording of "Heart Attack '64." The drums are dropped and the vocals are softer and smoother over the sounds of the accordion and clarinet in a version updated beautifully to fit with the new album's vintage flavour.

The album moves more or less chronologically throughout Lorre's life. "M Is for Morphine" is an optimistic song of unshakeable self-belief reflecting Lorre at the beginning of his career and the honeymoon period with the drug he would later become addicted to. The combination of electric guitar, by Lucky Strano on great form throughout the whole album, the delicate piano parts and Terricloth's powerful voice is very well-assembled. However, towards the end the lyrics begin to show an uncertainty about his activities and a fearsome drum opening and closing of the song foreshadow the dangers of the drug, which become apparent during "Cathy Catharine," detailing Lorre's difficulty in mixing drug dependency and fatherhood. "Everybody Comes to Rick's" highlights Lorre's addiction and gradual disillusionment with Hollywood, which also comes up in "I Just Make Faces" where Terricloth repeatedly uses Lorre's famous quote "I don't act, I just make faces" as the chorus of the song.

"Thumb Cinema" is one of the highlights of the album. The political commentary in Addicted to Bad Ideas is more subdued, with the band choosing instead to focus upon the biographical aspect of the album; however, it surfaces on this excellent track. The band's sentiments in "Thumb Cinema" are delivered with enough charm and eloquence and the song is so catchy to not only make it one of the best songs on this album, but maybe of their entire discography. The penultimate track just before the wonderfully reworked version of "Heart Attack '64" is another highlight of the album. The title track, "Addicted to Bad Ideas," is a beautifully bittersweet track. It acts as a reflection of Peter Lorre's life, and while it recognises and embraces the downfall that come from being "addicted to bad ideas, and to drugs, and to all of the beauty in this world" there is an irrepressible optimism in the sensational, sing-along chorus that will make this song a favourite at live shows.

The album is a great success; the decision to make a concept album about the life of Peter Lorre forced the band to put a slightly more serious tone on their music and go in a more ambitious, mature direction than the 'break everything' appeal of Just the Best Party. The World/Inferno Friendship Society stay faithful to the concept behind the album, and despite the inherent sadness in the tale they brilliantly narrate, the band's enthusiasm helps to turn the tale into a strangely uplifting record which is not only a stunning testament to Peter Lorre's legacy, but also a wonderful album in itself.


People who liked this also liked:
World/Inferno Friendship Society - Red-Eyed SoulAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Clash - London CallingAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseWorld/Inferno Friendship Society - The Anarchy and the EcstasyOperation Ivy - Operation IvyAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityBomb the Music Industry! - Goodbye Cool World!Minor Threat - Complete DiscographyDescendents - Milo Goes To College

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
baseball (September 18, 2007)

wow, this is fantastic

didn't think they could top Red Eyed Soul but this does it

GlassPipeMurder (September 14, 2007)

doesn't Ara play drums for the Slackers?

ashtraymonument (September 13, 2007)

totally awesome

misterspike (September 13, 2007)

Score is for the Against Me!/Inferno tour playing four blocks down the street from me. Nov. 8th is suddenly worth looking forward to.

INDW (September 13, 2007)

gogol bordello are overrated and doesn't have anything going for it but this is, if nothing else, different

briennis (September 13, 2007)

November U.S. Tour:

Against Me! / Sage Francis / World Inferno Friendship Society

whaaa? that's breaking my mind right now. if i still liked AM!, or if i went to shitty venues/paid exorbant ticket prices, i woud brown my downstairs right now.

GlassPipeMurder (September 12, 2007)

very snazzy. love these guys.

misterspike (September 12, 2007)

Not my favorite Inferno release, (Hello, Live at Northsix!), but if you don't get this record, something is Wrong with you.

iamthebat (September 12, 2007)

also, they took one of my least favorite WIFS songs (peter lorre), re recorded it, and made it better - the intro before it really builds up to that song anddddddd it just sounds so much better on this cd then on jtbp.

telegraphrocks (September 12, 2007)

November U.S. Tour:

Against Me! / Sage Francis / World Inferno Friendship Society / Cobra Skulls.

Score's for that unbelievably kick-ass line-up.

briennis (September 12, 2007)

The anarchic joy is definitely less evident than on "Red-Eyed Soul," but I suppose that's, as the review mentioned, because they're telling a specific story with real ups and downs about someone else's life. It's an extremely different beast than any of the preceding albums, and i would definitely proclaim it a worthwhile listen.

Jack seems like a shitty dude.

baseball (September 12, 2007)

can't wait to hear this...anyone gotten their preorder from Chunksaah yet?

this IS the best live band going right now

Problematiclogic (September 12, 2007)

Great review of an amazing record.

It isn't as catchy and upbeat as Red-Eyed Soul, but that's not exactly a bad thing. Then again, "Weimar" may just be the most catchy and upbeat song I've ever heard.

This is one of the best bands in music today, and this is some of thier best work.

Oldpunkerforever (September 12, 2007)

dont get the hype, Im trying to dig this though but its not working -oldpunker-

hideyaface (September 12, 2007)

This is a great band. But, as mentioned in this review, the fact that they always re-released / re-recorded songs, really frustrated me. I remember being at one of their shows a while ago, and they just released "Speak of Brave Men". I was pumped to hear the 3 new songs, then the next time they came around, they had another new EP "Me vs. Angry Mob ". I bought that, only to discover that out of the 6 songs, 3 of them came from "Speak of Brave Men".

Then "Red-Eyed Soul" came out, and I saw it had several of these same songs from these EPs, so I didn't even bother picking it up. I might have to get this one though.

ozmanx (September 11, 2007)

I just wuv that album art.

pdxkid (September 11, 2007)

I really don't understand this band and Gogol Bordello. I am sure their live shows are awesome but their recorded music sucks and their lyrics are horrible.

Rastid (September 11, 2007)

whoever said beautiful is dead on. great album. still prefer red eyed soul, though.

danperrone (September 11, 2007)

good but not great

righteoustwin (September 11, 2007)

this album is beautiful to listen to

ConsolationPrizefighter (September 11, 2007)

The title track is my favorite W/IFS song of all time. And this is one of the top three albums I've heard all year.

niveK82 (September 11, 2007)

Not as good as Just the Best Party but still a damn fine album

punkbytheounce (September 11, 2007)


the_problem_with_fire (September 11, 2007)

my local record store didn't have it and told me it appeared it would be released on a later date/ was back ordered.

iamthebat (September 11, 2007)

I just got this off itunes me likey

AlmostPunkENough (September 11, 2007)

the. fucking. goodness.

Toxic_Toast (September 11, 2007)

best inferno album by far

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