the (international) noise conspiracy: "survival sickness"

Epitaph / Burning Heart

This is one of my favorite new school bands who sound like an old school band (aside from production quality). The band consists of Dennis Lyxzen (vocals & tambrourine), ex-frontman for The Refused, Lars (guitar & vocals) from Separation, Sara (guitar, organ, & tambourine) who was in both Doughnuts and SAIDIWAS, Ludvig (drums), also from SAIDIWAS, and Inge from The Female Anchor of Sade. The band's sound reminds me of 60's bands like The Doors, The Stones, or The Who, though definitely faster and more "punky" (think of the 70's L.A. scene, minus all the distortion).
"Survival Sickness", the debut from this 5-piece, delivers more sane political views and genuine rock and roll than any other band I can think of off the top of my head. The views are pretty extreme, yes, but at the same time very rational and realistic and cannot truly be categorized as "left" or "right" wing. Also, the politics (for the most part) never really enter the lyrics themselves, but rather are implied. The band's political agenda (and that word is used here in any and every sense possible) is extensively detailed in the album cover booklet, in the place of the lyrics. Every song's underlying meaning is described on it's own separate page in the form of an essay... even the instrumental track that isn't listed on the back cover.
The album cover's design, layout, and content are just as much of the release's appeal as the music itself, and this was no mistake: This is, without a doubt, an art band. An intelligent, talented, pissed-off art band. And they do it without being boring, whiny, annoying, or immature. Boy, what a refreshing surprise.
My favorite song from the album would have to be "Impostor Costume". Yeah, that's it. Great riffs, catchy hook, and it has that classic breakdown like in Green Days version of "My Generation" (full band plays a stanza, the guitarist plays solo, the full band plays, the bassist plays solo, and so on). Other faves include "Will It Ever Be Quiet", a mellow number about how complete silence in this day and age is only an idea. "The Subversive Sound", a very organ-driven rock 'n roll song, sounds like The Doors on crack (by the way, Lyxzen sounds NOTHING like Jim Morrison, just for the record). And "Enslavement Blues" is fast, loud, and angry, which is just fuckin perfect.
Well... this album is great. If you're into the old sound but want desperately to find new bands, give this one a try. I think you'll enjoy it.

Reviewed by Sam Sinister.