Refused: The Shape of Punk to Come

The Shape of Punk to ComeThere’s nothing like starting a punk album with a seven-minute song — and one that starts with talking and noise. And then launches into a Swedish screamfest full of twists and turns and breakdowns and changes all over the damn place. Get this guy a lozenge! This isn’t normally my thing, with all of the blistering screeching and bombast, but these guys really mix it enough to keep it way interesting throughout. In fact, starting on track 2, I can actually understand the words, and it may be my imagination but the song starts off on kind of a jazz lilt before going all spazzy and then back into jazz and then spaz, repeat. Again, I’m not a hardcore fan. I don’t get hardcore, I really don’t. But here’s an album that I can tolerate, even enjoy, though there are certainly elements, with all the insanity, that I would consider hardcore. But, and I think this is what makes it truly punk, these guys throw curveballs all over the place with jazz bass breakdowns, what sounds an awful lot like spoken word shit interspersed and songs that average five-minutes each. It doesn’t sound like much else I own, and as such is in and of itself a pretty rad thing.