The (International) Noise Conspiracy - Live at Oslo Jazz Festival [reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The (International) Noise Conspiracy

Live at Oslo Jazz Festival [reissue] (2007)

Alternative Tentacles

As much as I like to maintain a professional demeanor when writing published reviews, I think it's necessary to dip into a little personal assertion for a moment regarding my thoughts on this album. I would rate myself as a moderate fan of the (International) Noise Conspiracy. I have two of their albums, and have only been mildly impressed with anything they've ever done. That said, Live at Oslo Jazz Festival is one of the most fantastic and entertaining live albums I've heard since Dillinger Four's Live at First Avenue.

The performance was recorded on August 6th, 2002 with established jazz musicians Jonas Kulhammer on saxophone and Sven-Eric Dahlberg on Fender Rhodes, a type of electric piano. It is with the addition of these musicians and their respective instruments that turns the otherwise inert garage rock of the original songs into a lively, flourishing makeup of jazz, soul, garage, and punk. It's truly incredible to think about how much an improvement the performance is over any of T(I)NC's studio work. Frontman Dennis Lyxzén gives an impassioned effort that holds steady through the nearly 60 minutes of music. In between songs, the listener is reminded that although T(I)NC write their songs in English, Lyxzen has essentially been writing lyrics in a foreign language since breaking the punk scene wide open as frontman of hardcore innovators Refused, and he continues to do so with T(I)NC.

Bubbling with improvisation and spontaneous melodies, the performance hits its peak with the 13-minute long rendition of "Will It Ever Be Quiet," which nearly answers its own question before breaking into a finale of incredible saxophone soloing. Fan favorites like "Capitalism Stole My Virginity," "New Empire Blues" and "Ever Felt Cheated" are all included, as well as a superb version of "Bigger Cages, Longer Chains."

Live at Oslo Jazz Festival shows just what live music is about. Energy, spontaneity, and creativity put a new and improved spin on some of the (International) Noise Conspiracy's best songs, and the result is a truly memorable experience that stays fresh long after the first listen.