The (International) Noise Conspiracy Armed Love

Now a year after this disc got its formal release, Canadians will finally be able to pick this up as a domestic title (and timed not accidentally to coincide with the band’s opening slot on the Bravery’s fall tour of North America). The Rick Rubin-produced disc finds the Swedish fashionistas up to their old retro-fied garage rock hijinx. There’s plenty of rump shaking to be done for sure, but there’s something missing. The earlier records from this Refused off-shoot were angry and political as well as being infectiously groovy. This time, though, they seem more intent on the party rock over the politics. And it’s frankly a little too polished as well. The grittiness and rage seems to have dulled with Rubin’s heavy hand all over this one. Sad but true. (American)