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CD Reviews: Review of Armed Love by The (International) Noise Conspiracy
Thompson Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Entertainment Web Guide

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com The (International) Noise Conspiracy: Armed Love (American  2005)

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Rick Rubin. You know him, you love him. He’s done it all. The Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jay-Z, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond. The list goes on and on. He’s the guy you go to when you want some new cred. Old careers revitalized with a twist of Rick’s knobs and the next thing you know, that old dinosaur is topping the charts once again. The man’s got the magical touch, perhaps more so than any producer of the last fifteen minutes. And these days, when it takes artists two or three years between albums, time cannot be wasted.

And so Rick has therefore taken the (International) Noise Conspiracy under his winning wing and produced their latest disc Armed Love. First things first: there’s no need to ever put any part of your band’s name in parentheses. It makes it incredibly annoying when writing the band up, and just makes you look like a bunch of predisposed artsy jackasses. Now, if you have a reason to do so for legal reasons, that’s all right. Some bands such as Squeeze and the Charlatans have had to tag that stupid “UK” at the end of their name on early releases because some unknown hack band had the same name. Still, I think offsetting part of your band’s name with some splashy asterisks is more attention getting than those retarded parentheses.

As far as the music goes on this little silver platter, the International (ha!) Noise Conspiracy is another in a long line of competent rock bands that can turn out a pleasant sounding recording that’s catchy enough to have on while driving down the road to Arby’s. The group is nothing overly special, but what they can do, which is make a Beef ‘N Cheddar with curly fries a little more rockin’, they do well enough. Unfortunately for Rick Rubin, this isn’t going to be one of those albums he can brag about on his lengthy résumé, as this is the sort of group that any dude behind the dials could produce and get a decent enough sound from. But hey, it’ll pay for a sack of Original Roast Beef sandwiches, if nothing else.

I hesitate to call the Conspiracy “emo,” but surely they can’t be far off. They can’t seem to decide if they want to be everyday rockers or bring some politics into the picture. That’s why there are such “important” songs as “Communist Moon,” “Guns for Everyone” (a special “EXTRA TRACK”), and “Like a Landslide.” Okay, fuck it. These guys are emo. Except not in the sense that Dashboard Confessional is and you just want to beat the holy hell out of the lead singer for being such an ignorant wuss. We’re at least singing about guns here, people, which all Republicans should lap up lovingly with their Market Fresh chicken salad sandwiches and special order of Sidekicks ™ of their choice.

At the end of the day, this was one of those albums of last year that didn’t ring too strong a bell for anyone. Isn’t it nice now that it’s 2006 that such bold statements can be made about such obvious rinky-dink rock records? But that’s all right. By the time these shysters get around to recording another album, disco will have returned, a dance version of the classic Sammy Johns hit “Chevy Van” will be burning up the charts, and Rick Rubin will be pumping new life into R.E.M.’s corpse. And you, dear readers, will have moved on to the greener pastures at Taco Bell. Rock and roll.

~Jason Thompson


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