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The Interrupters – The Interrupters (Hellcat Records, release date:August 5, 2014)
review by Jeff Rey Key via

The Interrupters combine a huge variety of diverse influences to come up with their truly original and creative sound. The band is young – only playing roughly a year and a half, and noteworthy. In this short time, they've built a huge extended family  - or following in rock n roll terms, scored gigs opening for , and sometimes stealing the show from numerous punk and alt rock  legends. Their fifth show put them as the warm up band for the mighty and revered Social Distortion, and the then rookies wowed an admittedly cynical audience. They've continued along that vein, and improved, crafting an album that is solid, more than solid, it's absolutely dynamite – from beginning to end.

I can't remember being so excited about a major release LP since 2007's release Beyond by Dinosaur jr.

At first listen, songs like “Family” (featuring Tim Armstrong of Rancid), “White Noise”, and “Can't Be Trusted” among others bring to mind vintage 2Tone ska, with their bright, bouncy, upbeat sounds, while the lone cover “Judge Not” is an early Bob Marley rocksteady cover, infused with some modern bounce, without losing the essence of the song.  But there's more here, a unique sound, voice, and perspective.  “Easy On You” melds the 2Tone bounce with the sweet melodic refrains of an early Blondie, no simple task.  And songs like the rocking, punky “Take Back The Power”, “Liberty” feature call to action, sing-along gang style lyrics, sound as much like East Coast streetpunk as their West Coast contemporaries. With so many divergent influences you might expect a slapped together cut n paste with a rock song here, a ska song next, then a punk song and so on.  Not so, this is once smooth flowing piece, which bears repeated listening, both in it's original (proposed) form, and shuffled. It's amazingly cohesive from track to track and throughout.

“What's your plan for tomorrow/Are you a leader or will you follow/Are you
a fighter or will you cower/It's our time – take back the power”

Urging listeners not just to  join in the melee, but to make changes, fight against injustice and assert themselves and their rights. The themes aren't necessarily all that new, but the musical spin The Interrupters give it is, integrating sounds of East and West Coast USA punk, 2Tone, Dub, Rock-steady, Traditional Ska, 77 punk, and of course rock n roll.

Here's a line from the album's closer that pretty much sums it up:

“Everything is hot when the night gets dark/They Want to dress me up
like the rest of them/But I'm a wolf and their just sheep!”

I could sit here and compare lead singer Aimee to Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, and the band to The Clash, The Slackers, Rancid, or The Specials, but would that really help you decide? Maybe it would, maybe it should. Really, read that last lyric, it's not about pigeonholing or comparison, this is an amazing band that deserves your attention!

There's no filler, no fat here, every song is solid, pure muscle, and memorable. There's so much good music here, it's really impossible to pick a stone cold lead pipe lock for a single favorite. Here's a few: “Family” ,“White Noise”, “Can't Be Trusted”,  “Easy  On You”, “Take Back The Power”, “Friend Like Me”, yep that's pretty much the whole album.

-Jeff Rey Key






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