The political bent of the (International) Noise Conspiracy (as well as of frontman Dennis Lyxzen’s earlier punk band of legend, the Refused) has always been one of revolution. But it’s always been aligned with the stark, eastern European propaganda style from their artwork and to their simple, almost irritatingly catchy message songs. Instead, The Cross Of My Calling sounds more like a product of the love revolution than of the Marxist revolution.
As a result, it’s something that might slip by the unsuspecting parent looking for a parental advisory sticker, but certainly not past the McCarthy hearings. While the trippy, Kinks and Doors-influenced songs are political, they’re not specific and far from the upfront revolution of “Smash It Up,” for instance, having been replaced with slightly cloudier ideas, like “Hiroshima Mon Amour.” But a brief view of the liner notes reveals an ideology as well- expressed as ever. And there’s still tracks like, “Storm The Gates Of Beverly Hills,” if rioting is your bag.
Musically, it’s the most developed thing the (I)NC has done to date, ignoring the time-warp confusion. In fact, the band’s overall development eerily follows the development of ‘60s pop, and if that’s the truth, it’s 1968 all over again for the band’s sure-to-be- perplexed fan base, what with all the overdriven organ, funk beats, major keys, and relative dearth of screaming and breakdowns. Hey, we’ve all got to grow up eventually.
In A Word: Cunning