The Interrupters

The Interrupters

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The Interrupters have a long list of projects their members have worked on, from being the touring rhythm section of Sugar Ray to playing with Tim Armstrong's Tim Timebomb and Friends, but the quartet's true love is punky ska, à la 2 Tone. Their Armstrong-produced self-titled debut album is a fairly energetic love letter to the ska-punk era and a political letter bomb that rails against a laundry list of the evils of modern life. The three Bivona brothers lay down the tunes, vocalist Aimee Interrupter barks out the words in her best Joan Jett, and Armstrong keeps things very simple. It's a formula that should work well, as Rancid have proved for years, but there's something amiss with the Interrupters' approach. Far too often the songs are overly familiar ska-punk-by-the-numbers, the lyrics are simplistic and clichéd, and the bandmembers really bring nothing new or interesting to the table. They have energy and spirit to spare; it's just misdirected in the service of songs that would have seemed old in 1979 and just seem wrong in 2014. Calling a song "This Is the New Sound" isn't merely wrong in this case; it's laughable. Adding some new sounds or branching out a little bit beyond trying to rewrite Rancid B-sides would have been a good idea. Or maybe it might have helped to cover a few more old ska nuggets, like they did here with "Judge Not," to balance out their forgettable songs. As it stands, the Interrupters' debut album doesn't promise much for the future and delivers even less in the present.

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