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It's hard to know what to think about the (International) Noise Conspiracy, sometimes. Their extreme leftist political agenda, something resembling modern leftist anarchism, is intended to be the centerpiece of their music - the presence that takes charge of music and popular culture to spread subversion. It's easy enough to question its efficacy, though. Bigger Cages, Longer Chains is like the other T(I)NC albums in that it lacks the fury of singer Denis Lyxzen's previous band Refused, and at the same time, their blend of garage rock and 60's psychedelia is considerably less accessible to the average listener than other recent politically minded acts like Rage Against the Machine. In those respects, it's tempting to dismiss the Conspiracy's political agenda as misguided. But even the most jaded cynics should give credit where it's due; Bigger Cages, Longer Chains is a fiery piece of work that gets better with every listen.
Sure, it's a short EP (six songs,) but the Conspiracy seems to have come into their own, experimenting with various sounds and blending in some fatnastic 60's mod influences with the garage rock they've started with, and all with a better sense of flair a more cohesive whole than ever before. Horns and organs get more play throughout and the band even tackles a cover of N.E.R.D.'s "Baby Doll" as if it were their own from the start. And it's hard to match the sneering, snarling mess of the closer "When Words are not Working." If it's not enough to burn your house straight to the ground, Cages also includes every single video the Conspiracy has made. Sure, it might not be enough to ignite the revolution tomorrow, but if nothing else, it makes the wait a bit more bearable.
Reviewed by John