With The Shape of Punk to Come, Refused aimed to challenge existing punk and hardcore sensibilities. The album's title references Ornette Coleman's 1959 avant-garde jazz album The Shape of Jazz to Come and they throw in allusions to Allen Ginsberg and NY hardcore group Born Against, as well. Refused took to task the pop-punk of the day, eschewing the tried and true tropes of contemporaries like Green Day and Blink 182. With experimental combinations of hardcore, prog-punk, techno, and even jazz sounds they redefined what punk was supposed to sound like. While all of the aforementioned sounds are evident on the record, Refused ended up making a simply great hardcore record. Their trademark tension and release is all over the album. Vaguely jazz influenced intros are decimated by explosions of distortion. Electronic excursions are interrupted by the subtly ominous cymbal tap of drummer David Sandstr__m. A shimmering sign of the aural assault that is about to come. There's a generation of At The Drive In emo kids that owes their life to this record. Unfortunately for the fans, all of this experimentation led to the breakup of the band only a few months after its release.
- Music Label: Epitaph 2012
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 04/2012
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