New Politics

New Politics

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New Politics are a trio from Denmark who relocated to Brooklyn before recording their self-titled debut album. Moving from one continent to another can often mean cutting back on possessions to make the move easier, and while the members of the band may have left behind some books or clothes, they definitely brought along their record collections -- though from the sound of it the airline may have lost nearly every CD recorded after 1997 or so. New Politics are so stuck in the '90s alternative rock scene that listening to their record is less about possibly enjoying what they are doing and more about cataloging the sounds they hijack. You almost have to admire them for the blatancy of their borrowing; they certainly don’t try to hide a single influence. Here’s a short list: the thundering drums and bass of the Pixies, the clanging guitars and song structure of Nirvana, the whiny frat rap of the Beastie Boys, and the yowling rant of Rage Against the Machine. Throw in some Weezer-esque tunes, a little Red Hot Chili Peppers swagger, and some rap-metal thunder, and you’ve got an episode of I Love the '90s. The only reference points from post-1997 are the some Killers keyboards, a tune that apes the Strokes, and a riff stripped out of Franz Ferdinand's “Take Me Out.” All this borrowing could be forgiven if it weren’t for the lyrics that substitute generic political posturing for thought. Titling songs "We Are the Radio," "Nuclear War," and "New Generation" doesn’t help; neither do lyrics that advocate “burning it down” or compare love to a drug. One could forgive a little lyrical disconnect since English may not be the band’s first language, but it’s really too large an obstacle to hurdle. You have to give them credit for totally committing to their sound and playing their second-hand tunes with lots of energy, but really it’s a case of been there, done that better, and there’s no reason to give this record a listen. Unless you’ve never heard any of the bands New Politics steal from, in which case this might be the freshest record you’ll hear all year.

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