Music » Livewire

The International Noise Conspiracy, with the Rogers Sisters

Tuesday, April 6, at the Grog Shop.


This Swedish band -- swathed in farfisa organ, mod haircuts, and Marxist politics -- grabbed a bit of buzz at the cusp of the '60s-ish garage revival, back in 2001. But their influences are much more current than the usual Nuggets names. In fact, their story mimics their main influence: the amazing early '90s Fugazi-Stax hybrid from D.C. called Nation of Ulysses.

The founding members of International Noise Conspiracy cut their teeth in the late '90s as the more spastic Refused, who were a near copy of Ulysses except that, since they were Swedish, their Socialist sloganeering didn't require irony. Then, just after Ulysses morphed into the decidedly ass-centric Make Up, Refused became the dancier Noise Conspiracy. And despite their well-made, doggedly leftist mod punk, they nonetheless came off as a fan-club version of Make Up.

The roads are finally diverging. Make Up has morphed again into the weed-centric Weird War. And International Noise Conspiracy has remained focused. Though considering the politico remnants, their adherence to the matching outfit/nice haircut image is looking more like market branding. All of this is probably a moot point to fans, who were memorizing multiplication tables when Nation of Ulysses was touring, and to whom branding long ago trumped ideology.

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