World Inferno Friendship Society

Published on January 18th, 2018

The World Inferno Friendship Society

“‘Perhaps, Jack, you should tone down your rhetoric a bit,’” Jack Terricloth of The World/Inferno Friendship Society said once in an onstage internal dialogue. “‘Perhaps the stuff you say in between songs might be construed as, well, not very patriotic. Well, actually, Jack, you might get yourself in some big trouble.’

“And I say to myself, ‘Oh! Trouble is my business, friend.’”

The banter served as intro to “I Shot President Reagan, and I’m Gonna Do It Again and Again and Again and Again!” a song aimed at a previous political era but which also reflects Terricloth’s feelings towards the politics of today.

The World/Inferno Friendship Society, with Terricloth as its only constant and guiding light, is teeth-bared punk rock informed by early aggro-political hardcore even as it sounds like a burlesque cacophony on acid. In the 20 years-plus since forming in Brooklyn, World/Inferno has carved out a gene-splicing musical niche largely on the strength of Terricloth’s unsinkable punk rock attitude.

A child and teen of those Reagan ’80s (which fueled a lot of oppositional music), Terricloth credits his belief in the ethos of punk for his love of touring and ability to perform live with the energy of someone half his age.

Describing World/Inferno inevitably means pulling “circus” and its variants from your dog-eared Thesaurus to capture the amalgam of jazz, soul, klezmer and theater that undergirds Terricloth’s vision of punk. But it’s not wrong to argue that this zeal for diversity is one reason World/Inferno stays fresh and relevant.

Being versatile also has allowed for changing band lineups and the cultivation over years of an honest-to-goodness “Society,” just like the name says, of musicians and performers who support Terricloth’s irascible criticism of politics and the wrongs he sees. There’s no cheekiness in proclaiming “trouble” as his business. It’s actionably de rigueur, it’s punk, and it keeps him and the band going. Most guys nearing 50 might have different plans; for Terricloth and his Inferno, the curtains’ nightly rise signifies a new opportunity to raise hell.

The World/Inferno Friendship Society, with Everymen and The Zoo Particular,  performs January 26 at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach ~ Abel Folgar

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