The (International) Noise Conspiracy - The First Conspiracy (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The (International) Noise Conspiracy

The First Conspiracy (1999)

G7 Welcoming Committee

2000's "Survival Sickness" made a big impact. While some loved it and others hated it, the Conspiracy made enough noise to end up on many critics' top albums list. While Sickness is considered their debut album, The First Conspiracy contains their first work as a band.

The songs on this album were collected from a series of 7" vinyl that appeared in Europe soon after Refused disintegrated. While many bands collect their early work like this, the results are almost always a mixed bag due to varying production qualities and the fact that most bands have not had time to mesh so early in their career. While the songs here are from five individual 7" releases, to their advantage they were all recorded in the same studio within a fairly short period. This gives the record a good deal of consistency that many vinyl collecting albums lack.

As for the sound, it's close enough to Survival Sickness that fans of that release will be pleased. The production is unfortunately quite tinny and the bottom end seems like its missing from much of the album. The band's 50s rock meets 70s punk sound is shown here at its most minimalist moments on songs like "The First Conspiracy" and "Abolish Work." However the pacing here is at times better than on "Survival Sickness," the band shows some range as it tries to find its footing.

Highlights include "Young Pretenders Army," "Black Mask," and the great "Airports." The very groovy "T.I.m.e.B.o.M.b," with its varying volume and dub-bass line, is good change of pace. As the first work as a band, the Noise Conspiracy's signature sound is fairly accomplished, especially interesting considering how close these were recorded to the end of the very different Refused.