If Kurt Cobain can get a hit musing about disposable teenage culture, why can't a bunch of Swedish Marxists? If, as Marx suggests, communism is a post-capitalistic construct, then perhaps (I)NC is the tipping point. Formed around Dennis Lyxzn, leader of popular punk anarchists The Refused in the '90s, the Noise Conspiracy weds visceral, soul-fueled garage, rumbling punk throttle and witty, agitprop sloganeering worthy of the Situationalists. Appropriating the shout-along feel of '60s garage pop, tracks such as "Bigger Cages, Longer Chains" or "Capitalism Stole My Virginity" sound more like songs than treatises, even though the lyric sheet is footnoted with references to authors and French philosophers. The band's blend of politics and tight, canny horn- and organ-powered rock reaches an apotheosis on Armed Love, produced by Rick Rubin and finally released here in October, a year after it came out in England. Richly produced, it sacrifices rawness for a crisp, nuanced sound that really opens up on additional listens. A future classic.
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