Some really great photos, words and video of the Refused reunion over at the Hundreds. Band’s official reconnection statement on their site. Wish I was at this show at the Glass House in Pomona, California – energy levels look off the charts.
Refused was supposed to be the answer to everything. Their third album The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts was supposed to share the message. But when the ’90s hardcore band released The Shape of Punk to Come at the end of that decade, their niche audience was unready and unprepared. The climate of the mid-1990s hardcore scene was chokers, basketball jerseys, and baggy pants, so imagine the reception of a straight-laced set of European moptops, clad in skinny suits and spinning flashy dance moves a la Ian Curtis meets Michael Jackson. Furthermore, while most progressive hardcore at the time was geared towards a militant call for Straight Edge or veganism,
Refused was hell-bent on dismantling capitalism. Singing from the far-left, the disc’s lyric booklet acted more as an inflammatory political manifesto. The cherry on top: the sound wasn’t the brutal brooding metal of contemporary peers, it was infused with jazz and drum n’ bass, outside sounds that were unlike anything punk in nature. The directive was that true punk music should sound, and stand, apart from what the mainstream music industry had asborbed as commercial “punk” music.