You get used to it after a while — all the negativity, aggression and fighting words. The whole spirit of punk music, after all, is (or arguably was) anti-authority, anti-establishment and do-it-yourself. Even where its close relative ska is concerned, the primary difference was always in the upbeat sound. You can still sound aggressive and anti-establishment while giving everything an almost ironically upbeat and positive tone. The notable difference with a lot of the recent offerings from ska-punk hybrid bands such as Goldfinger and the Interrupters is that they take the positivity all the way. There’s absolutely nothing about Fight the Good Fight that’ll bring you down or allow you to wallow in negativity even for a moment. It’s refreshing.

It’s hardly surprising that this record sounds bigger and more heavyweight than anything the band has done before. Produced by Grammy-award winning Tim Armstrong of Rancid fame, the album showcases the best of Aimee Allen’s vocal style while avoiding throwing it so far up front that she comes off like a pop-oriented Gwen Stefani. She fits snugly into the embrace of ska grooves, ample percussion and the clockwork syncopation of the guitar licks makes it difficult to sit still when listening to “Be Gone” or “Leap of Faith.” The album is mixed to crystal clear perfection by fellow Grammy award winner Tom Lord-Alge whose resume includes Blink-182 and Weezer, among other notable best-selling acts.

With sentiments like “Live like a warrior and never let them break you down,” “All it takes is a leap of faith,” “We don’t have much but we got each other,” or as simple as “Devil be gone!” it’s hard to imagine a more uplifting listening experience. And unlike most albums, the band doesn’t really see the need to slow things down or take a breath. “Leap of Faith” is arguably the most relaxed track on the record but that’s a stretch. It doesn’t indulge in melancholy at all, preferring to just tell it like it is in a straightforward and simple manner. There are a few instances like “Gave You Everything” and “Got Each Other” (which features members of Rancid doing full verses) where the full influences of Tim Armstrong’s punk aesthetic is felt a little heavier, but they’re also handled with a deft restraint.

The easy highlight of the record is “Not Personal” in which Allen uses a deeper, more exaggerated, serious voice but somehow manages to avoid sounding cheesy or contrived. The song has a live-performance feel even though it’s clearly recorded in the studio. The band is among those who can leave it all out on the floor whether there is an audience or not. Sadly, it’s just over 2 minutes long and just as the momentum is getting going, it’s over too soon.

If there is one major criticism of the record, it’s that despite there being 12 tracks, they all feel relatively bite-sized and you can get through the whole record in about 30 minutes. That almost rivals the comically short records by bands such as Nails, but if you look at the list, the songs all weigh in at around the two to three minute mark on average. But in the spirit of the record, there is a bright side. It’s a very strong, very enjoyable 30 minutes that’s good for back-to-back repeat plays. This is not a record that gets old early and if handled properly and given some reach, may be the one that propels the Interrupters to mainstream status.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Check Also

The 1975: A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

So what do you expect from The 1975? …