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International Noise Conspiracy
A New Morning
Epitaph


In September of 2000, the air is crisp and cool, warm in the sun and cold enough for a jacket in the shade. I take my headphones out of my cheap denim bag and switch the volume all the way up. I listen intently to the second album from The International Noise Conspiracy (TINC) on my N-train ride downtown to work in midtown, a single block away from the Empire State Building. I spend my 9 to 5 in the heart of the heart of the capitalist center of the universe. The message of TINC once seemed so clear, to fervently fight capitalism, but simultaneously with no impeding danger other than the nebulous World Trade Organization and IMF, hardly threatening sounding European Union, and of course the somewhat shady influx of globalization and neo liberalism.

I continually questioned the system of global capitalism with passion until September 11th 2001, while hating the fact that my happiness could be purchased on a Saturday afternoon for $6.99 from the used bin at Generation Records. Now, listening to the third and latest album from TINC, bleakly titled A New Morning, I canít help but look at their political stances with aloof cynicism. These Swedes are passionate for abolishing the machinations of violence and globalized capitalism, but where do I fit in now that my city and life were partially demolished?

TINC begin with a blistering opening track, "A Northwest Passage", which seems to promise a new way or even a Third Way, as they cite the Romanticist poet William Blake and the Dadaists at the end of the track as "suggested reading material." Reading material follows each of the 11 tracks, as well as internet suggestions like indymedia.com. The drums are hard and almost primal, but still this record is moving less into the garage rock category and more into the pure rock. TINC began as an offshoot of the now-defunct Refused, combining ex-members of Separation and Doughnuts, with a swagger and a í60 sound and look so similar to The Makeup.

Saxophones make their appearance on a somewhat slower track three, "Bigger Cages, Longer Chains", lending a very James Brown feel. The singer, Dennis Lyxzen, is entirely dynamic and affects struts similar to the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, and did I mention he doesnít wear underwear on stage?

I loved their second record, Survival Sickness, but itís a different age in America and I still smell the smoke wafting up from the World Trade Center. "Capitalism Stole My Virginity", track 8, seems to explain disillusionment of a different kind in an almost premonition. Their obvious hatred of capitalism Ė an innately American, God Bless the USA trait Ė seems a bit distasteful now, almost blaming, a la Falwell and Robertson. I find it hard to give this record the proper reception it deserves, but like I said, times are different. I donít want to hear pro-USA propaganda, but go a little easier on us, please.

6.5 out of 10: TINC still make me wanna get on up, and this is their best album musically to date, but Iím not digging the anti-political America sentiment, at least not right now.

- Vivian Sarratt

Track Listing:

  1. A Northwest Passage
  2. Up for Sale
  3. Bigger Cages, Longer Chains
  4. Breakout 2001
  5. A Body Treatise
  6. Born into a Mess
  7. New Empire Blues
  8. Capitalism Stole my Virginity
  9. Last Century Promise
  10. Dead Language of Love
  11. A New Morning, Changing Weather

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Mike Doughty



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