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The (International) Noise Conspiracy

Epitaph/Burning Heart

Somebody needs to ask Dennis Lyxzén, the Marxist mouthpiece of Swedish protest band the (International) Noise Conspiracy, why we should all be listening to him, because if the sterilized garage rock on his band’s second disc, A New Morning, Changing Weather, is supposed to cattle-prod everyone’s inner revolutionary, I’m not feelin’ it. Lyxzén puts plenty of zeal into his anti-capitalist rhetoric—the liner notes for A New Morning last through a big cup of coffee—but fails to sound like a genuine threat. Even Rage Against the Machine gets that part right: Although annoying as hell, Zack de la Rocha’s sinusy howlings are at least hard to ignore. The plain-sounding Lyxzén, who was a little wilder when fronting the now-defunct Refused, tries the occasional screech and peppers his songs with “hey hey”s, but those techniques offer only a fraction of the sweaty stagecraft of his obvious role model, D.C. freakmaster Ian Svenonius. Nonetheless, “Last Century Promise” is awash in a thick ’60s Detroit vibe, “Bigger Cages, Longer Chains” conjures enough horn-and-organ pizazz to override its twitchy, tightass groove, and “Capitalism Stole My Virginity” weaves a Gang of Four riff through a spy-flick backbeat as Lyxzén pushes closer to true fervor. But even at its loosest, A New Morning parties within well-drawn boundaries—which makes me suspect that T(I)NC is looking for a peer group rather than a revolution. —Joe Warminsky