The Zodiac, Oxford
8th June 2004
I was apprehensive about seeing The (International) Noise Conspiracy. The sort of band to have played a 15-gig illegal underground tour in China, the Swedes’ political agenda is mentioned in their press more than their sound, so I was afraid I’d be pummelled into submission by preaching and prosletising, and left unimpressed by their music. They are, however, more focused than I thought, though in some cases the message is lost within some (admittedly fine) tunes.
Jumping around in matching tight leather and with hair like a Shockwave ad, T(I)NC start with Up For Sale, which singer Dennis Lyxzen eloqently explains is about revolution and changing the world; Under A Communist Moon, preceded by a lecture about Reagan, Thatcher and how much the 80s sucked; and Capitalism Stole My Virginity, explained as being about growing up in a world constricted by economic and social structures. Dennis introduces Like A Landslide as his yearning for modern-day counterparts of his childhood favourites – The Clash and the Dead Kennedys – who are willing to speak out, presumably along the lines of T(I)NC’s leftist socialist anarchism. But it isn’t all about politics; stealing the riff from Smoke On The Water, The Dream Is Over is about wanting to be a punk rocker.
T(I)NC come across as intelligent rather than just angry, and this makes them more convincing in their convictions. Their sound is a The Who-like functional fusion of late 70s protest-mod and 60s garage rock, driven by punchy guitars and organ.
Despite currently promoting their third album Armed Love, produced by Rick Rubin, they seem to have been overlooked in the most recent wave of Swedish garage rock, overshadowed by acts like the perhaps more stylish and aloof The Hives. This is a shame, though, as T(I)NC do their melodic protest punk quite well.
From Nightshift, July 2004