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Band: The International Noise Conspiracy
Album: Survival Sickness
Label: Epitaph/Burning Heart
Year: 2000
Reviewer: Shindo

Dennis Lyxzén is best known as the front man of the now defunct band Refused. Refused was truly groundbreaking powerful, intelligent, hardcore music. Their final album, “The Shape of Punk to Come” made many critics' lists of top albums of 1998. After Refused dissolved, Lyxzén took his socialist politics to a new, but entirely different level with Noise Conspiracy.

The Umeĺ, Sweden five piece plays what can best be described as a hybrid of rock & roll, 60s soul, and late 70s punk. The band was formed by Lyxzén to make true a statement by folk singer Phil Ochs that states, “The perfect rock outfit would be a combination of Elvis and Che Guevara.” The band includes Lyxzén, guitarist/vocalist Lars Strömberg (Separation), bassist Inge Johansson (The Female Anchor of Sade), guitarist/organist Sara Almgren (Saidwas, Doughnuts) and drummer Ludwig Dahlberg (Saidwas).

The music is catchy and fun, which is Lyxzén's goal in making Marxism accessible for more than political scientists. There are elements of the Kinks and the Who in this music. While simple and non-threatening, it's infectious and original. I first heard (I)NC on Epitaph's Punk O Rama 5. It was a large step away from Refused (who were misrepresented on said album due to a techno-y remix of one of their songs… but I digress). After a few listens of Survival Sickness, songs such as “Smash It Up,” “Reproduction of Death,” and “Ready Steady Go!” grew on me. My only complaint is there is some repetition and variety is needed.

Is this punk? Do I care? In my short time writing for a music website I've learned that the general opinion is that absolutely everything sucks / isn't punk. Noise Conspiracy conforms to no popular trend of music or politics. If conformity is what we seek, there will always be endless NOFX clones. Where did we ever decide, "This is what punk sounds like". We didn't, I didn't, truth be told I wasn't born when "punk" was truly "punk". We decide what punk is supposed to be by dwelling on the influences of the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Ramones and the hardcore of the 80s. Essentially we were told what is punk, and International Noise Conspiracy, with good results, forgot this lesson.

This is defiantly not for the “punker-than-thous”

Origionally from

Web: The (International) Noise Conspiracy