NPR logo The Sound of an Angry Mob Gathering Strength

The Sound of an Angry Mob Gathering Strength

Brother of the Mayor of Bridgewater
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Friday's Pick

  • Song: "Brother of the Mayor of Bridgewater"
  • Artist: World/Inferno Friendship Society
  • CD: Red Eyed Soul
  • Genre: Punk
World/Inferno Friendship Society

World/Inferno Friendship Society's music recalls Bruce Springsteen, The Pogues and the noise the devil makes as cities burn. hide caption

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The word "anarchy" was thrown around like currency during the punk explosion of the mid-'70s, but with a few exceptions, it seemed to be more of a slogan — something to scrawl on the back of a jacket — than a philosophical imperative. Enter World/Inferno Friendship Society, which is made up of countless members (including two drummers and a horn section) who convene in various combinations around frontman Jack Terricloth, whose grinning, genial stage persona only amplifies what appears to be a sinister intent. It should be a mess, but it coalesces instead into a combination of Bruce Springsteen, The Pogues and the noise the devil makes as cities burn.

Nowhere is that sound more accessible than on "Brother of the Mayor of Bridgewater," which doesn't just have a hook — it has a torch, a pitchfork and a barrel for tarring and feathering. The chant/refrain that opens the song brings to mind the sound of an angry mob gathering strength, and the song swings like an effigy as every repetition comes closer to inciting a riot. It's one thing to talk about the destruction of institutions that hold society together, but another to mean it. World/Inferno Friendship Society means it, or seems to, and it's unclear which is more dangerous.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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