Armed and Amorous
Despite delays while Rick Rubin’s American Recordings joined forces with Warner Brothers, Sweden’s The (International) Noise Conspiracy return with their fourth full length Armed Love. With Rubin at the controls, T(I)NC push their catchy rock edge and politics with precision.Combining the agenda of Rage Against the Machine with the dancy-rock hooks of the Rolling Stones, Armed Love is the kind of album that burrows into your mind with its irresistible pop edge and then delivers a solid message instead of just fluff. This is infectious 70s rock at its finest, complete with handclaps, tambourine slaps, driving bass lines, and fiery guitar solos and organ leads. Longtime organist Sara Almgren has been replaced by Billy Preston, and Preston more than delivers. Rubin’s production is crystal clear, with the instrumentation blending into a perfect structure to support Dennis LyxzâˆšÂ©n’s loaded lyrics.
“Black Mask” pays homage to the activist group the Black Bloc with “Get ready to blend in to put it on and disappear/Soft fabric against the skin I could be anyone anywhere.” A tight bass and drum foundation propels “Let’s Make History” while LyxzâˆšÂ©n weaves together romance and revolution with the lines “There is talk about dancing on the barricades/But someone special is on my mind… There’s a million things worth fighting for/Like making you stay.”
The song “Communist Moon” perfectly sums up the attitude of this album. When LyxzâˆšÂ©n sings “From desperate times comes radical minds living armed love,” it’s obvious this band isn’t just regurgitating tired slogans and slinging empty politics. This is their passion. And when the sing-along chorus ushers out the track, it’s hard not to join in.