Refused was a short-lived Swedish band of incredible talent. Their penchant for blending scream-o punk with heavy metal and dashes of electronica and alt rock was progressive and unmatched in the mid to late 90s. Fourteen years after calling it quits in the midst of a nightmarish tour for The Shape of Punk to Come, the band stood onstage in the city where they ended it all. It was prior to their 1998 gig in Atlanta that they decided to disband and declared, “Refused Are Fucking Dead.”
The irony was staggering as they kicked off the brief US leg of their reunion tour and so was the performance. Refused absolutely killed. Music that relies heavily on the combination of emotional intensity and machine-like precision was firing on all cylinders. Refused was loud. Singer, Dennis Lyxzen, – dressed to the nines – screamed and howled like Iggy Pop and strutted like Mick Jagger. Drummer, David Sandstrom, is a god-dammed force of nature and drove the show with a punk-y jazz-metal brilliance. The band was tight although the set was short at one hour and fifteen minutes, but hey – what more do you want from a bunch of communists?
Concert Video from the Refused Show:
Possibly my favorite song, “Hook, Line, and Sinker”:
They brought the place down with “New Noise”: