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The (International) Noise Conspiracy - The Cross of My Calling (Cover Artwork)

The (International) Noise Conspiracy

The (International) Noise Conspiracy: The Cross of My CallingThe Cross of My Calling (2008)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: mikexdudemikexdude
(others by this writer | submit your own)

First impressions are lasting, and The Cross of My Calling is actually my first taste of the Swedish post-Refused band, the (International) Noise Conspiracy. The group's sophomore run with producer Rick Rubin takes punk, garage, soul and straight rock 'n' roll into an amalgamation of sound that's in.
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First impressions are lasting, and The Cross of My Calling is actually my first taste of the Swedish post-Refused band, the (International) Noise Conspiracy. The group's sophomore run with producer Rick Rubin takes punk, garage, soul and straight rock 'n' roll into an amalgamation of sound that's intent is to capture that organic `60s tone: Voice cracks and fret noise are all present and the distortion factor is at minimum in the same fashion Green Day accomplishes with Warning:. The rhythm section itself consists of a noodling bassist that you both hear and feel, a guitarist who utilizes huge-sounding open chords and blues phrasing while tastefully placed pianos, organs, harmonicas and bongos embellish the rest of the empty spaces -- oh, and let's not forget the drummer who pounds about, shifting times effortlessly throughout the 14 tracks.

My overall first impression? "Impressed" would be an understatement, but let's take a little deeper look into this (as if that first paragraph wasn't over analytical enough, right?).

The short introduction track (appropriately dubbed "Intro") initially gives off the impression that the guitarist wants to butcher a decent blues-influenced riff with the picking attack of a three-year-old, but at second glance the raw, minimalist approach isn't mistakable. After an increase of speed and rhythmic collaboration between drums and guitar, "The Assassination of Myself" kicks in with a palm-muted riff preceding a foot-tapping chorus. "Arm Yourself," after a brief riffing on organ, continues with a barre chord progression à la the Clash with a rockabilly feel. "Boredom of Safety" is a midtempo rocker, with some of the most impressive vocal performances of Dennis Lyxzén on the album, eventually moves from a slide guitar over simple arpeggios to a crying guitar solo.

After the instrumental interlude (also appropriately named "Interlude"), the second half of the album is introduced: "Washington Bullets," probably the catchiest song on the album, has a chorus -- in stereotypical punk form -- that contains a chanted call-and-response; its verses will be stuck in your head for days. The closing and namesake track, "The Cross of My Calling" is eight minutes of fluent guitar licks, grooving bass lines and dynamic vocals. Lyxzén eventually concludes saying, "Hold me in your arms like you promised me / when the music stops," before the instruments take the album into its end.

To my surprise, Lyxzén doesn't yield his sense of melody in order to rant his obvious hatred of capitalism; his styling is simplistic, finding a healthy medium of radicalism and clichés to not clutter the music with ideology. Bellowing "right now / I know / this is the way to get back in control" may not be as powerful as some of his Refused lines, the restraint keeps things from sounding overbearing.

Sometimes heavy and driving, sometimes upbeat and infectious, The Cross of My Calling has shown me a side to smashing the state that's both conscious and fun.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
blanktapesemptybottles (December 12, 2008)

I think it's really impressive that Dennis can pull so many styles off, and yeah we all want more refused but it isn't happening... ac4 is however... who knows how that'll shape up... I just bought this but haven't spun it yet, I'm expecting good things, especially with all this hate.

nandorude82 (December 10, 2008)

It sounds good.... I hope they can reach a huge audience with this new record.... It's better to us listen tinc.... Than another new single form simple plan..... Lol

Xote (December 10, 2008)

I agree w/ Wyzo 100%.

I was just about to write a huge long posts saying the same shit...

T(I)NC used to be very creative and actually sounded like a fucking revolution. They don't sound like that anymore.

This stuff isn't bad per se. But if you listened to the old stuff... bought it and grew with it and then hear this shit... it's heartbreaking. It really is.

wyzo (December 9, 2008)

yeah, I write long posts. accept it and I apologize.

wyzo (December 9, 2008)

vile might be the wrong word. I think people like myself will pan this. It's more an odd taste of indifference.

I don't mind or care that someone else likes it, it isn't a record that will stand up to any time or comparison.

The best way I can say it is that INC's non-rubin produced records mixed all these different types of music, but what made them pop was that they did so without irony, without being retro. The genres they mixed and really explored were not taken as novelty or gimmicks by them, they used them without baggage to the past, it was contemporary use of the old.

And now they do seem retro, it does seem like schtick.

Denis has always been into some theatrical elements for sure, as a stageman he is different than he is in real life where he is more reserved. But again, it was theatricality with teeth.

Even the cover art and how they were branded in the last two records in terms of logos and press photos was different than in the past.

I feel like its too easy to say that once Sara left the band that INC was over, particularly since Denis and her had a relationship it seems too crass, so while I don't want to meddle with reasons, they stopped writing tunes with the same approach.

Whereas you couldn't really know how they would turn or twist a particular melody or style, now it's almost sad how formulaic the last two records are. I would never have even thought language like 'shout and response' would find its way into an INC review, even considering how much the 7 inches comp record is more raw and rock than survival sickness was.

And I have no qualm with pop, but Denis' side project the lost patrol band was good for that (though that ruined what the lost patrol had been, is this a trend?).

But really, you don't get a 'how can they agree to this' vibe from that photo of them on their website? Crushed purple velvet isn't mysterious, it's lounge lizard.

w

mikexdude (December 8, 2008)

I still fail to see how this is so vile to everyone.

cheesetits (December 8, 2008)

Alright, listened to this cd, and I like it for the most part. Fuck it.

greenvandal (December 7, 2008)

Fuck this band. I can't believe I ever liked them.

StrangeSlowOld (December 7, 2008)

I dig it.

10-4Eleanor (December 6, 2008)

A New Morning FTW

homemadebullshit (December 6, 2008)

i really do not mind this cd, at first i hated it but after a few listens it grew on me, i actually like it.

i-type-poorly (December 5, 2008)

This album makes Armed Love sound good. In other words, it sucks ass. Dennis can't write a song to save his life anymore.

cheesetits (December 5, 2008)

I actually liked Armed Love, "Let's Make History" is such a good catchy song.

mikexdude (December 5, 2008)

Alright, obviously, I'm missing something: where should I start with this band?

I still love this record though.

wyzo (December 5, 2008)

"The Cross of My Calling is actually my first taste of the Swedish post-Refused band, the (International) Noise Conspiracy"

yikes. You should get some type of check in the mail from INC for that.

This shows armed love was not a fluke, but is now what the INC is. I wanted to give this a fair shake, but as soon as the chorus of "I am the dynamite" starts, its cringe inducing.

None of the songs make sense lyrically anymore, the music, i don't even know what the music is supposed to be, it doesn't really do any one thing well, and fails across the board.

They are still on the Rick rubin produced reign in blood schtick they were on Armed love. But Rubin's produced some crap too guys. And his production lends nothing to this or the last one.

None of the songs match up with the worst of Changing Weather, and forget about Survival Sickness, this is just bad.

Don't believe me? Check out their website. Look at the photo of them looking like fucking vegas magicians illusionating you! What IS THAT!

rinjonjori (December 5, 2008)

This is Armed Love pt. 2. t(I)nc's first three releases had energy and purpose. This is crap... He can't blame distribution this time around.

mikexdude (December 5, 2008)

Scott, that's my favorite on the album right now. Good call.

maverick (December 5, 2008)

Surprisingly not awful, considering how much of a shitpile Armed Love was. "Hiroshima Mon Amour" is a jam.

-Scott

gnardo (December 5, 2008)

The album is definitely a bit of a departure (I'd say progression) from their earlier stuff. But I think it's also their best work. I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorite albums of the year

chrisafi (December 5, 2008)

can someone please tell me, if I thought the first INC album was wank, whether this one is worth my time checking out.

mattramone (December 5, 2008)

If these dudes were real commies they wouldn't have had security crack my skull when I walked away from their merch table with an armload of free stuff.

Cos (December 5, 2008)

ts been awhile since I've heard a record take a noticeable turn at its second half like "The Cross of My Calling" does. The second side of the album is FAR superior to the lame openers ("Assassination of Myself"? Really?). "I Am The Dynamite" kicks it off and the jams don't let up--with the possible exception of "Washington Bullets'. "Satan Made The Deal" is such a blatant rip off of the Stones's "Sympathy for the Devil" but its so fucking good they're forgiven. "Black September" and the title track are great.

I saw these guys twice during their So Cal. run last month and though they definitely aren't as energetic as they were around "Survival Sickness" it was still good fun. I just wish they'd play a few more tracks off the Epitaph releases.

mikexdude (December 5, 2008)

Since writing this, I listened to some of their older stuff, and I like the melodies on this more. I can see "tame" though.

theonetruebill (December 5, 2008)

I'm with Brian. I just got done reviewing this for Beyond Race and it's waaaaaaaaaay too clean and tame. Only "Black September" really brings them back to the glory days.

It's not a bad record, but it's not a good (I)NC record.

mikexdude (December 5, 2008)

I like your two reviews better than me. How DO you do it?

eazyd2 (December 5, 2008)

needs more cowbell.

eazyd2 (December 5, 2008)

First impressions are lasting, and The Cross of My Calling is actually my first taste of the Swedish post-Refused band, the (International) Noise Conspiracy. The group's sophomore run with producer Rick Rubin takes punk, garage, soul and straight rock 'n' roll into an amalgamation of sound that??s intent is to capture that organic `60s tone: Voice cracks and fret noise are all present and the distortion factor is at minimum in the same fashion Green Day accomplishes with Warning:. The rhythm section itself consists of a noodling bassist that you both hear and feel, a guitarist who utilizes huge-sounding open chords and blues phrasing while tastefully placed pianos, organs, harmonicas and bongos embellish the rest of the empty spaces -- oh, and let's not forget the drummer who pounds about, shifting times effortlessly throughout the 14 tracks.

My overall first impression? "Impressed" would be an understatement, but let's take a little deeper look into this (as if that first paragraph wasn't over analytical enough, right?).

The short introduction track (appropriately dubbed "Intro") initially gives off the impression that the guitarist wants to butcher a decent blues-influenced riff with the picking attack of a three-year-old, but at second glance the raw, minimalist approach isn't mistakable. After an increase of speed and rhythmic collaboration between drums and guitar, "The Assassination of Myself" kicks in with a palm-muted riff preceding a foot-tapping chorus. ??Arm Yourself,? after a brief riffing on organ, continues with a barre chord progression à la the Clash with a rockabilly feel. "Boredom of Safety" is a midtempo rocker, with some of the most impressive vocal performances of Dennis Lyxzén on the album, eventually moves from a slide guitar over simple arpeggios to a crying guitar solo.

After the instrumental interlude (also appropriately named ??Interlude?), the second half of the album is introduced: ??Washington Bullets,? probably the catchiest song on the album, has a chorus -- in stereotypical punk form -- that contains a chanted call-and-response; its verses will be stuck in your head for days. The closing and namesake track, ??The Cross of My Calling? is eight minutes of fluent guitar licks, grooving bass lines and dynamic vocals. Lyxzén eventually concludes saying, "Hold me in your arms like you promised me / when the music stops," before the instruments take the album into its end.

To my surprise, Lyxzén doesn't yield his sense of melody in order to rant his obvious hatred of capitalism; his styling is simplistic, finding a healthy medium of radicalism and clichés to not clutter the music with ideology. Bellowing "right now / I know / this is the way to get back in control" may not be as powerful as some of his Refused lines, the restraint keeps things from sounding overbearing.

Sometimes heavy and driving, sometimes upbeat and infectious, The Cross of My Calling has shown me a side to smashing the state that's both conscious and fun.

eazyd2 (December 5, 2008)

First impressions are lasting, and The Cross of My Calling is actually my first taste of the Swedish post-Refused band, the (International) Noise Conspiracy. The group's sophomore run with producer Rick Rubin takes punk, garage, soul and straight rock 'n' roll into an amalgamation of sound that??s intent is to capture that organic `60s tone: Voice cracks and fret noise are all present and the distortion factor is at minimum in the same fashion Green Day accomplishes with Warning:. The rhythm section itself consists of a noodling bassist that you both hear and feel, a guitarist who utilizes huge-sounding open chords and blues phrasing while tastefully placed pianos, organs, harmonicas and bongos embellish the rest of the empty spaces -- oh, and let's not forget the drummer who pounds about, shifting times effortlessly throughout the 14 tracks.

My overall first impression? "Impressed" would be an understatement, but let's take a little deeper look into this (as if that first paragraph wasn't over analytical enough, right?).

The short introduction track (appropriately dubbed "Intro") initially gives off the impression that the guitarist wants to butcher a decent blues-influenced riff with the picking attack of a three-year-old, but at second glance the raw, minimalist approach isn't mistakable. After an increase of speed and rhythmic collaboration between drums and guitar, "The Assassination of Myself" kicks in with a palm-muted riff preceding a foot-tapping chorus. ??Arm Yourself,? after a brief riffing on organ, continues with a barre chord progression à la the Clash with a rockabilly feel. "Boredom of Safety" is a midtempo rocker, with some of the most impressive vocal performances of Dennis Lyxzén on the album, eventually moves from a slide guitar over simple arpeggios to a crying guitar solo.

After the instrumental interlude (also appropriately named ??Interlude?), the second half of the album is introduced: ??Washington Bullets,? probably the catchiest song on the album, has a chorus -- in stereotypical punk form -- that contains a chanted call-and-response; its verses will be stuck in your head for days. The closing and namesake track, ??The Cross of My Calling? is eight minutes of fluent guitar licks, grooving bass lines and dynamic vocals. Lyxzén eventually concludes saying, "Hold me in your arms like you promised me / when the music stops," before the instruments take the album into its end.

To my surprise, Lyxzén doesn't yield his sense of melody in order to rant his obvious hatred of capitalism; his styling is simplistic, finding a healthy medium of radicalism and clichés to not clutter the music with ideology. Bellowing "right now / I know / this is the way to get back in control" may not be as powerful as some of his Refused lines, the restraint keeps things from sounding overbearing.

Sometimes heavy and driving, sometimes upbeat and infectious, The Cross of My Calling has shown me a side to smashing the state that's both conscious and fun.

mikexdude (December 5, 2008)

You? Read? Really?

But really, I wouldn't want more Refused. They could never top what they put out.

cheesetits (December 5, 2008)

Mike, we know, we can read.

I guess I'll take a listen, but god damn I want me some Refused again.

mikexdude (December 4, 2008)

I dig it.

morisukunrasik (December 4, 2008)

Rick Rubin's producing is far too clean sounding

billnye (December 4, 2008)

ugh

inagreendase (December 4, 2008)

This felt disappointingly tame on first listen. Let's hope future spins reveal something better.

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