The (International) Noise Conspiracy – Survival Sickness – Review

The (International) Noise Conspiracy

Survival Sickness (Epitaph)
by Tim Den

I approached this one with caution… Having been a long-time Refused fan, anything less than amazing coming from frontman Dennis Lyxzen would’ve crushed me. Everything I’ve heard about the band and their first record (released last year) is true: The (International) Noise Conspiracy is a no-frills ’60s/’70s mod/garage rock band that takes Small Faces, The Kinks, The Who, The Zombies, and The Make-Up and jumbles it together to form… well, another mod rock band. It kicks, screams, has nice guitar licks that are almost half-influenced by surf rock, and it sounds pissed as all hell. Supposedly, one of the reasons Refused split up was because of the band’s disagreement over Dennis’ desire to go even further in his radical/political lyrics, so it’s no wonder that he’s made The (International) Noise Conspiracy his tool for verbal delivery more than his tool for musical experimentation. A quick flip through the record’s inlay shows that every empty space has been crammed with information, poetry, and borderline propaganda (albeit much less malevolent than that of the bourgeoisie), something that people like myself feel a bit uncomfortable being bombarded with. While I enjoy Refused’s commentary, it was their ability to make it all blend together with the music (making sure the subject matter suited the mood and pace of the music, etc.) that allowed me to ingest all the information. The (International) Noise Conspiracy, on the other hand, allows almost no breathing room for anything but truckloads of pamphlets and statistics. I don’t know how you feel about that, but it makes me less able to concentrate on the rock. Maybe that’s the way Dennis wants it, but not me. I want to feel both the urgent message and the pounding beat, please.