The Cross of My Calling | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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The (International) Noise Conspiracy

The Cross of My Calling


Nov 01, 2008 Year End 2008 - Best of 2008 Bookmark and Share

As a successful politically incensed band, The (International) Noise Conspiracy walk a thin line between delivering a valid message and coming off as hypocrites. Their lyrics preach against capitalism and Marxist revolution, but their website doesn’t have any content and directs fans to MySpace, an insidiously corporate cesspool of conformity. It’s a dilemma. Bands must tour to stay active and that involves selling disposable products and using fossil fuels to get from show to show, both issues tackled on The Cross of My Calling (on “Storm the Gates of Beverly Hills” and “Washington Bullets,” respectively). Where do you draw the line?\

Now on their fourth album (and their second with Rick Rubin), the band’s significance and music have been thoroughly watered down. Always better live than on record, there are few highlights here, and the bulk of the songs presented are lukewarm at best and often borrow topics and musical ideas. “Hiroshima Mon Amour” tells a dim version of Alain Resnais’ landmark film and has a halfhearted chorus, “Child of God” borrows the organ solo from The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm,” and “Satan Made the Deal” apes the Rolling Stones’ Delta boogie. Through-out, the homage wears thin and the band’s punk-infused garage rock doesn’t stand on its own.

“Arm Yourself” is the rare standout track on the album with its tight, guitar/drum counterpoint rhythm that drives the song. It’s one of the few songs that you can feel some passion in. The album’s eight-and-a-half-minute title track is also noteworthy. A slow-building mammoth, it demonstrates what the band is still doing right.

By the end of the album, (I)NC doesn’t need to bother reconciling its political viewpoint with the desire to move units as the music can’t deliver the message. (


Author rating: 4/10

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