The (International) Noise Conspiracy

Survival Sickness

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When the 21st century arrived, there weren't many communist governments left. Cuba, China, North Korea, and Vietnam were still communist, but with the fall of the U.S.S.R., formerly communist countries throughout Eastern Europe were no longer beholden to Soviet ideology. Inevitably, such political developments would have an impact in the music world. The fall of communism throughout Eastern Europe encouraged a lot of new pop scenes to develop there, and some of those scenes favored unapologetically capitalist imagery. Polish pop of the 1990s, for example, was full of female singers who dressed like supermodels and looked like they were on their way to a trendy restaurant on Hollywood's Sunset Strip or Manhattan's Park Avenue. And the ironic thing is that while pop artists in a formerly Soviet-dominated country like Poland seem to be going out of their way to flaunt their capitalist images and thumb their noses at the communists who used to be in power, you can still find some rock acts in Western Europe who hold on to Marxist ideas. One of them is the (International) Noise Conspiracy, a Swedish band that pushes a very Marxist agenda on Survival Sickness. This is a band that praises Che Guevara and says it seeks to "destroy bourgeois culture" and "smash the neo-liberal agenda." But once you get past the Marxist rhetoric, you'll find that these guys deliver some incredibly infectious, if derivative, rock & roll. Blending punk with the influence of 1960s British Invasion bands like the Kinks and the Who, the Conspiracy remind us how captivating simple, basic, groove-oriented rock & roll can be. Whether or not you agree with the band's politics, you may very well find Survival Sickness hard to resist.

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