Release Date: Nov 24, 2008
Record label: Vagrant
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
In rock music, success is not necessarily dependent on musical proficiency. There are scores of ways to gain recognition -- style, scene, story -- but actual talent seems to be an incidental factor. Which makes The Cross Of My Calling, the fifth LP from stalwart Swedish rockers the (International) Noise Conspiracy, such a thrill. Known for its strictly leftist political bent, the band rose from the ashes of Refused, singer Dennis Lyxzen’s acclaimed and influential '90s punk band.
Swedes loose sight of their anarcho-punk "calling" The (International) Noise Conspiracy professes an allegiance to situationist politics, which helps to explain, at least, the self-righteousness of the band's fifth album’s title. What it can’t excuse are the ham-handed metaphors adulterating these 49 minutes of emo/anarcho-punk. Vocalist Dennis Lyxzén's declaration that “we’re gonna bleed into the dustbins of history” bludgeons itself with tactlessness.
When the Garage Rock Class of 2001 took their seats on the first day of school, they were a flashy bunch indeed—a mixed bag of oil spill-slick New Yorkers and blue collar bar thumpers from Detroit, along with those nutty Aussies with the autistic frontman. The Strokes? The White Stripes? The Vines? Present! Who can blame the teachers and listeners among us for missing those Swedish Marxists in the back row? After all, those prize pupils produced Is This It?, White Blood Cells and Highly Evolved, respectively, during the same year and basked in the radio glow for their efforts. And besides, we already had those Swedes in the matching suits who gave us Veni Vidi Vicious the year before.