World/Inferno Friendship Society
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World/Inferno Friendship Society


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The best kept secret in music


"Speak Of Brave Men - EP Reviews"

-Alternative Press-


4 out of 5

Overtly political Brooklyn rock collective with more
members than the Mighty Mighty Bosstones (and without
the annoying dancing guy).

Sounds Like?
A Bar Mitzvah band gone punk rock: showtune-esque
vocals, plenty of horns, and hooks that are impossible
*not* to sing along to.

How Is It?
On paper, W/IFS seem a little kitschy, but these three
songs are so catchy and inspired that we can't help
but spin them over and over.

-Delusions of Adequacy-

A few more days and I blast spine-chilling music on costume-bearing children all day long in spirit of the annual spook-fest. My list of “Symphonic Haunts of the Boo(m)box to Be Unleashed on October 31st” includes The Birthday Party, Wolf Eyes, Mr. Bungle, Arthur Brown, and various industrial noisemakers, all perfectly frightening for the occasion. Speak of Brave Men is the latest addition to my list, thanks to The World/Inferno Friendship Society, a group intimately in touch with its members' inner ghouls. They’ve proven their love of frightfulness on previous records Hallowmas Live at Northsix and Pumpkin Time; hell, they even formed on Halloween of ‘97!

But four albums and five singles into their career, this Brooklyn-based vaudevillain punk syndicate has yet to break from the fringe of the fringe of the NYC scene. Why? Is this bizarre punk cabaret thing just not commercial enough? Having nine members in the group isn’t exactly economical, sure, but hey, if The Polyphonic Spree can do it... Maybe funeral party soundtracks simply aren’t in vogue. Shame, ‘cause this band’s building up steam; a classic could plop right out o’ their asses at any time now and no one would even notice.

Speak of Brave Men is a fairly good indicator of WIFS's potential. This EP is only three songs long, but it’s as sweet and sour as a bite-size jawbreaker; I’m in awe of how the band managed to cram so much flavor into such a small space. Each song features sing-a-long choruses, contains more hooks than a coat hanger, and refuses to stay stylistically still for more than a few bars.

Consider the first song, “Brother of the Mayor of Bridgewater,” which begins with galloping percussion and a spasmodic guitar line, then completely bursts 10 seconds in with this huge, anthemic chorus of wordless party vocals, guitar, saxophone, and whatever else these monsters try to contain in there. Next there’s a Patton-esque verse, that huge refrain, another verse with some added organ, the chorus again, a stop-start military march with a bonus piano line, a guitar solo, a final preparatory verse and bridge, then ba-ba-baaa till the end and huff... puff... out of...

As I try to catch my breath, the next song “Paul Robeson” launches into a music-box melody and nearly doubles the tempo. A blur of a verse speeds by, and suddenly there’s a shout-along anthem. And it swings! This song is so damn fast I’m not even gonna try to keep up with it. Let’s see, there’s a pseudo-salsa dip fit for Dia de los Muertos, some handclaps, a jazzy piano solo, loads of horns, and... what, next song already?

“Friend in Wien” starts with a Poguesy one-two march with accordion. The singer scowls through a verse in Nick Cave-style incantation (“I got drunk with some girls from the local art school and got caught painting on the walls”) followed by some girls doing a “Be True to Your School”-ish shout of “Gustav Klimt Rules!” The bridge rides along smoothly like Faith No More, then suddenly the sun rises and it’s over. Too quickly. But boy did those devils know how to party.

- Bill Neil, 11/3/2004

-Dallas Music Guide-


World/Inferno Friendship Society’s three-song EP Speak of Brave Men is a woefully inadequate recorded adaptation of what the band is in reality. In reality, the band is a six-piece experiment in thespian punk swing. It’s an inconceivable combination and just as potent and whacky as it sounds, a self-described “song by song backlash against the Entertainment Industrial Complex.” On CD, World/Inferno is merely punk swing, but, when live, front man Jack Terricloth‘s articulate dramatic monologues create an electric environment. It is both entertainment and experience. One can hardly determine whether they are watching a performance or becoming part of the show. Indeed, it’s easy to become absorbed in Jack Terricloth‘s effusively hyperactive personality. The anachronistic appearance of the band galvanizes the effect. All band members are dressed to the nines except for “Lucky” the guitarist who flanks Terricloth wearing a ribbed tank top and torn jeans. The discontinuity is made musical when “Lucky” goes off on one of his incendiary, Slash-like solos.

On Speak of Brave Men, World/Inferno Friendship Society is as solid as they are live. The songs race ahead with all the flash of the roaring 20’s but melded with the reckless irreverence of classic underground American punk. It’s about twenty songs short of what it should be and you can scarcely get a picture of World/Inferno’s diverse and exciting canon from this morsel of an EP. What it’s missing is the live connection. The band’s name is very deliberate. They are a society and when you’re there, when you’re dancing with Jack fucking Terricloth, you’re part of whatever subversive club they’ve created and that’s exciting. While Speak of Brave Men, is a nice sentimental reminder of an amazing show, hopefully it will serve as an impetus to go see them live, to experience the “society” like one should.

-- Dick Sullivan
- Various

"Report From South By Southwest"

under BANDS THAT SHOULD GENERATE BUZZ: "World/Inferno Friendship Society, a raucous, nine-person cabaret act that introduced a welcome touch of anarchy to the cozy Caucus Patio". - Issue #758 - April 2, 2004 - Entertainment Weekly

"Hallowmas Live at Northsix"

The World/Inferno Friendship Society
Hallowmas Live at Northsix
DCN Records
by Jason Cipriano

Sometimes the true quality of a band just can’t be transferred onto a studio album, understanding this essentially means sometimes you have to get off your ass and go to a show. The World/Inferno Friendship Society are, undoubtedly, one of those bands that exude such amazement, that, unless seen live, one can not fully comprehend exactly what this band is about. Hallowmas Live at Northsix is, in recorded fun, definitively, what The World/Inferno Friendship Society are all about.

First of all, not only is this album a collection of the bands’ greatest songs, but they are performed in their pure live version, as opposed to their dirty, dirty studio counterparts. Live show favorites such as, "Just the Best Party," "My Ancestral Homeland, New Jersey," and "Secret Service Freedom Fighting U.S.A." are all here, and performed outstandingly, sung by not only the band, but also the very enthusiastic crowd (fortunately, this isn’t one of those live recordings that tends to be more of the crowd than the band). The only thing that is really missing from this particular show was getting it in the head with the thousands of candy corn that were the treats for the crowd on this Halloween.

My one problem with this album is that it didn’t really contain any pictures from the show, or more than three of the band. It isn’t really a big argument or anything, but certain editors of webzines did take a handful of shots of the band at the show that would have greatly complimented the album in the liner notes or something. There is something else the band maybe should have considered, it’s something that a lot of bands are doing now a days, and it isn’t totally selling out or anything, but the WIFS maybe should have included a short video of one of their songs or something on the album to get across the true feeling of their live show. Maybe.

The World/Inferno just have one of those sounds that words really can’t describe, which translates into the band having to speak for themselves. World/Inferno not only speak for themselves on Hallowmas, but they virtually incite a riot. If you’re looking for a new band to start listening to, and you have sort of an "eclectic" taste, then you’re going to want to pick up this album. However, if your old, don’t like to have any kind of fun, or are even remotely a fan of Ronald Regan, then this album, along with this band, will not be up your ally. Otherwise, listen to this, enjoy, break some stuff, and never, EVER, go to Jersey (it’s a crappy, crappy state).

Jason Cipriano is the Senior Editor. Contact him at

- Rockzone.Com

"Previews for the Bowery Ballroom Show - Jan. 3rd, 2004"

From the Village Voice

Halloween is the official holiday of NYC's beloved World/Inferno Friendship Society, but there will be no shortage of New Year's festivities. The Society's small army of musicians churns out a frightening, feverish punk-rock cabaret to throngs of believers, and singer-commandant Jack Terricloth is a messiah if ever there was one. 2004 couldn't be whisked in by a livelier gang.

From TimeOut NY

And you thought New Year's was a big blowout. That ringing in your ears will have just faded away in time for this gig, and these infernal friends will be more than happy to knock your ass on down the newly paved road that is 2004. Since the group plays its dark cabaret with punk ferocity, you might be partying like it's 1899. - Village Voice and Time Out NY

"Reviews of "Hallowmas - Live at Northsix" and "Just The Best Party""

-Delusions Of Adequacy-

The World/Inferno Friendship Society
Live at Northsix

Let’s see…How to start this review? Hmmm… “The World/Inferno Friendship Society, a 13-piece Brooklyn funk cabaret collective…” No, no. Too straight forward. Not elliptical enough. How about, “Live at Northsix, WIFS’ love letter to the made up holiday of Hallowmas, is soaked in amphetamine-fueled drums, ska horns, and a vocalist who comes off like a circus ringmaster attempting to persuade his audience to jump through a burning hoop of fire…” Goddammit! That’s not it either. If only there were some way to fashion this review in the spirit of WIFS’ sonic orgy of rock, funk, soul, and ska, to write like these crazy fuckers play, to convey the sheer idiotic, funny, annoying, and ridiculous chaos…And above all, channel the ghost of Hallowmas and the Great Pumpkin into my words, then, and only then, I will truly have honored this ridiculous mess of an album.

Here it goes…WIFS plants horns all over the place with rambling declarations to break and steal and take a big ole whiff of New Jersey – crappy crappy place – with unlikely dedications to Jam Master Jay (what the flying FUCK!!) and Paul Robeson, renowned artist, athlete, and singer, with salsa beats and soundtracks for “Just the Best Party” and lamentations for “Poor Old Jeffery Lee,” dead singer from the Gun Club (brain hemorrhage – WIFS seems to want to inflict everyone with the same). But keep in mind they don’t want to piss you off, they just want to stitch big sweeping horn tapestries for all the ladies and witches in the audience, horn tapestries to crawl up their legs and tickle their naughty areas. But keep in mind, oh please keep in mind, this all has to be a big freaking JOKE, a passion play of dedications to time bombs and Peter Lorre from that old Fritz Lang serial killer movie, and are these bastards laughing at me? “We know! We know! We know!” they chant as if they know, but they couldn’t possibly know, with their excessive amount of members and their “telephoning typewriter device” – an ACCORDION – that apparently causes sadness and melancholy, which signals it’s time for a slow number, a “cautionary tale,” for the Goths or “death rockers,” but for some reason it involves bells and a swaying crowd-rousing chorus. But WIFS doesn’t want you to forget, oh please keep in mind, that love and sex and death and pumpkins and aging and partying and holding grudges mean absolutely nothing if you can’t go next door to the convenience store and rob the shit out of it, and they’re not trying to incite people (or are they?) with songs like “I Shot President Reagan and I’m Gonna Do It Again and Again and Again” oompah oompah oompah.

Please forgive them and me, but mainly them, for their transgressions and their wine-stained coat lapels and their torn fishnet and bop bop, da bop bop bop. They mean no harm (I think the speed and oxycontin is wearing off), they just want to make the three or four people in the crowd move and laugh and waltz with each other, “because this cannot go on for so much longer!” Trick or fucking TREAT! Whew!

- Andy, 11/3/03

The World/Inferno Friendship Society
Just the Best Party
Gern Blandsten Records

Party music for those arty kids who went to Rocky Horror way before you even knew what it was

Oingo Boingo, Squirrel Nut Zippers, weird 80s music Just when you think you've heard everything, along comes a band that totally throws you for a loop. The World/Inferno Friendship Society is one of these bands. They create a sort of pop that just hasn't been heard much since Nirvana came along and changed the parameters of what was considered pop. In fact, music played with this sort of reckless "anything goes" enthusiasm hasn't really shown it's face much since the 80s, has it?

Who knew they still made music like this? The World/ Inferno Friendship Society is (I think) a nine-piece band. Their sound features saxophone, piano, and an accordion. No, before you ask, it's not ska. In fact, at times it has more in common with a sort of punky polka (especially the track "All the World is a Stage (Dive)"). The singer sports a vaguely British accent and comes across sounding like a deranged Robert Smith. The cleverly titled songs (such as "Zen & the Art of Breaking Everything in this Room" and "Secret Service Freedom Fighting U.S.A.") swing wildly from chamber music, full-throttle punk rock, sea chantys, new-wave numbers, and everything they can fit in between. Suffice it to say that there's never a dull moment to be found on this disk. Whether it is your cup of tea or not is another story, but the band is so tight and talented that you may find yourself dancing despite yourself.

This kind of pop is an anomaly these days. In fact, this band would probably be perfectly at home if this record had been released in the 80s. Remember all of those strange bands like Dexy's Midnight Runners, Wang Chung, Madness, etc.? There was a sense of diversity in that era that seems refreshing (although the actual output of those groups was often annoying). There was a sense that bands could do just about anything, as long as it was something new and different. None of this is to say that this record won't become a hit with a lot of people. I mean, who thought that the Squirrel Nut Zippers could score a hit? Just the Best Party really does sound like there's a party going on in the studio, and it's infectious enough to expand their audience tenfold.

- Nathan, 7/22/02

-Mundane Sounds-

The World/Inferno Friendship Society
Hallowmas Live At Northsix
Digital Club Network

The World/Inferno Friendship Society is a big-ass ska band. 'Ska' in the Weimar sense; it's more beer-hall and cabaret than two-tone or rude boy. They owe more of a debt to Soft Cell than they do to the Specials, though the connections to traditional ska are also quite evident. Still, it's best not to think of them as a band, but more of an exprience. A nine-piece band with chanteuses, piano pounders and a horn section from hell, they are led by the slick, sexy and dangerous gentleman of the world, Jack Terricloth.

Hallowmas Live at Northsix captures them performing on their favorite day of the year, October 31, 2002. It's a set that's really, really tight--filled with wonderful onstage dialogue and a set list that draws from their two excellent albums, their numerous singles, as well as a few brand new songs. The set covers serves justice to their entire past catalog, with several highlights coming from their most recent album, Just The Best Party. Personally, I'm most fond of "Just The Best Party," "I Wouldn't Want To Live In A World Without Grudges" and "Zen And The Art of Breaking Everything In This Room," simply because those are some of the funniest songs I've ever heard.

The only flaw that you could possibly find with Hallowmas Live At Northsix is that it's not quite the same thing as a live appearance. You don't get to see the band in their suits, you don't get to see the audience dressed up in costume, and the ambience of the evening seems to be lacking. Of course, those complaints are natural to any live album, but it's certainly even truer with a band like World/Inferno Friendship Society, who are more than just a band who are playing live. Case in point, the excellent set-closer "Pumpkin Time" loses a bit of its power, because you don't get to see Terricloth in full action onstage. (If you do want to see them live, then get thee to Digital Club Network's website,'m pretty sure there's video of this show available.)

Complaints aside, I'm glad this record exists. It captures one of the best live bands in their natural environment, and the recording is superb. This is a really, really fun show, and if you need any incentive to go see them live, then this is it. With Halloween coming up at the end of the month, you've still got time to buy tickets to this year's show. If, like me, you can't make it out to see them, then this document is the next big thing. Play it at your next Halloween party or whenever you feel the need to be reminded of the darker side of life. Trick or treat!

--Joseph Kyle

The World/Inferno Friendship Society
Just The Best Party
Gern Blandsten
posted January 11, 2003

Wow--they're back! This record really slipped under my radar! I didn't think I'd ever see the day that a new World/Inferno record would be born, but hey, it's here--let's party!!!

If you don't know about The World/Inferno Friendship Society, methinks its best to go and learn yourself all about them right now. They're a cabaret group with a hint of ska. Weimar Republic ska. Oompah-band with a hint of Broadway (the hard way). James Chance meets Nick Cave at Marc Almond's birthday party is what we're talking about here. Think I'm taking journalistic liberties here? Nope. This troupe is really one of the most unclassifiable bands you've ever heard, but it's nothing if not totally enjoyable.

Just The Best Party is only their second full length in five years. All that silence had me convinced that their musical output would be limited to a pretty good album The True Story of the Bridgewater Astral League, and a slew of essential singles released right before and shortly after their debut--all of which are collected on the must-own East Coast Super Sound Punk of Today!!. To be honest, that would have been fine with me. Why? Because sometimes it's okay to stop while you're ahead, to leave the game when you're on top, and The World/Inferno Friendship Society have all the qualifications to be one of those "cool" bands twenty years from now.

Don't get me wrong; I'm totally happy that these guys are back, and Just the Best Party is further proof that they're one of the most interesting--and fun--bands around today. There are nine members in the band photo, but this band's much, much bigger in style and sound. Their sound is the whole history of cabaret, performed and informed by the history of punk rock. The World/Inferno Friendship Society mix intelligent, whip-smart humor with a vaudeville punk rock approach, which produces fun songs such as "Zen and the Art of Breaking Everything In This Room," "All The World's A Stage (Dive)." and my personal favorite, "I Wouldn't Want to Live In A World Without Grudges."

The World/Inferno Friendship Society is a band that you really have to experience to enjoy, because the records--while great, mind you--are more of a document of what proves to be a great live show. Still, Just The Best Party is indeed the best party--provided that the party's full of lush punk rockers in velvet suits and a never-ending flow of Remy Martin. Put this on at your next party--it'll flow really well between your Scott Walker and Strokes records.

--Joseph Kyle

- Various


Me V. Angry Mob - CDEP/12" (2005)
Speak Of Brave Men - CDEP/7" (2004)
The Expatriate Act - Track on Rock Against Bush Vol.1 Compilation CD (2004)
Hallowmas - Live at North Six - CD (2003)
Just The Best Party - CD (2002)
International Smashism - Vinyl EP (2001)
East Coast Super Sound Punk Of Today! - The Singles CD (2000)
I Wouldn't Want To Live in a World without Grudges - 7" (2000)
Pumpkin Time - 7" (1999)
The True Story of the Bridgewater Astral League - CD/LP (1997)
Our Candidate - 7" (1997)
The Models and The Mannequins - 7" (1996)
Tattoos Fade - 7" (1996)


Feeling a bit camera shy


World/Inferno Friendship Society: itinerant trouble makers with hearts of gold and a small village of musical equipment.


From The Department Of Infernal Affairs:

If you want to get the maximum amount of experince out of every minute of every day going on tour is the thing. Traveling with the circus there is never a moment you are not completely occupied by joy, terror, excitement, discomfort, anticipation and velocity. Like a movie but with better dialogue and sore muscles, it's great. So off we go, your chance to invite the Inferno into your home.
We're trotting down and around to the South By Southwest schmoozefest with New Model Army (!) in March and then giving our European friends a long overdue visit in April. I'm inviting you out, consider it a date, wear something nice. Afterwards you can show me why it is you live where you do.
World/Inferno Friendship Society: itinerant trouble makers with hearts of gold and a small village of musical equipment, coming to town.

Our scene to yours...



NYC's disturbingly cult-like, circus-related, Halloween-tent-revival orchestra The World/Inferno Friendship Society perform red-eyed soul show tunes for the swarming punk rock masses.
The World/Inferno Friendship Society is not a rock band with a horn section; it's a fully-integrated orchestra of young men and women writing for you songs of the wine, freedoms and foibles which make life more than waking up
and going to work every day.
Nine pieces - 2 drummers 4 horns 2 guitars way too many teeth a piano and an accordion.
Sign the fuck up!

Fate, my friends, loves the Fearless. And We, in turn, love You. Don't turn away from love, friends--don't be chicken. THE WORLD/INFERNO FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY is all the proof you need. With songs so sweet and a quicksilver beat, a lean 9-piece orchestra of girls and boys plays the
cabaret-soul-punkety soundtrack to your romances and disasters. The vaudeville circus you always wished your life could be can be--just come and see!

THE WORLD/INFERNO is coming to your town! They are not fucking around! Full-time-fighting friends to the friendless, the most successful scourge to the oppressors since Willy Sutton, they're riding a wave of delicious alcohol straight into your hearts. Even if they have to buy the drinks themselves, they'll do it. Come see the circus play the dirty rock club, one night only! Come and waltz with the one you love.

It's Halloween, it's 1933, we're all in Bladerunner and the drinks are on the house. You have no excuse not to come out unless it is that you are a jerk. I don't think you're a jerk, I'll see you there.