Thursday, September 16, 2010

Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come (1998)

It's been brought to my attention that punk, and especially hardcore (and post-hardcore for that matter) have been sorely under-represented in this here blog. Let me remedy that malfeasance by posting one of my favorite punk (or post-hardcore, whatever) records of all-time, Sweden's Refused and their landmark 1998 album The Shape of Punk to Come. This album took such a toll on the band that they had to break up immediately following the completion of recording. Good thing they didn't hang around in the aftermath of this record, they not only set fire to but destroyed preconceptions of how punk was supposed to sound; they basically turned the world on its fucking ear.

Blending as many styles as they could here, it runs the gamut from straight ahead chunky rock riffage to shrapnel-laced blast punk to artier noise stuff to screamo and back again; it seeks to confound ears- every time I think I know what I'm listening to, it changes from one to the other. If it's not a focused arpeggio centered around minor chords then it's screechy string rakes and harmonic Eddie Van Halen-esque tapping sections, and then jumps on to these over-the-top bombastic drumming passages, all the while knob-twiddling galore behind the studio glass (acting as an instrument in and of themselves). I'm out of clichés and adjectives after this paragraph.

Anyway, this is meant to be listened to loud. Turn this shit up, kiddies.

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