(INTERNATIONAL) NOISE CONSPIRACY
These Swedish garage rockers are the best thing going nowadays on west-coast punk label Epitaph Records. Pale folks mixing R & B with Marxist punk might call forth unpleasant memories of the waning days of the Jam and Gang of Four, but on Survival Sickness the Conspiracy careens through 40 minutes of trash-can clatter and urgent midnight grooves with no shortage of imagination. The record's liner notes represent each tune not with lyrics but with vaguely related seditionary texts: the frantically catchy "I Wanna Know About U," billed as being about "communication of knowledge and ideas," corresponds with a questionnaire that asks, in part, "Searching for salvation, you seek: a) abolition of hierarchies b) personal freedom c) liberation by divine forces d) you are pleased with your situation." Sara Almgren's spidery Farfisa is a perfect complement to the bitter sentiments of Dennis Lyxzen (formerly of the Refused, who claim that their last performance, in Atlanta, was stopped by the police after four songs). Drummer Ludwig Dahlberg and guitarist Lars Stromberg shine equally on slinky tunes like "Smash It Up" ("the creative urge to destroy bourgeois culture") and wicked rave-ups like "Do I Have to Spell It Out?" ("smash the neo-liberal agenda"). "I want to bring all the intellectual ideas of radical philosophers etc. into a new space or setting which is punk rock," Lyxzen says in an interview with www.worldwidepunk.com. "When people read my lyrics or manifestos I don't just want them to...say 'oh that's great,' they have to think about it and pick up some other books to fully understand the issue I'm addressing." Few bands hand out reading assignments these days, but the (International) Noise Conspiracy rocks hard enough to warrant a little homework. Rocket From the Crypt (see Spot Check) headlines. Saturday, April 21, 6:30 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Elin Berje.