Refused: Freedom (Epitaph) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Jun 26, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Refused were a Swedish post-hardcore punk group who split up in 1998 after failing to overthrow capitalism. Eventually, they succumbed to temptation and embraced the whole lucrative reformation package. They played a few reunion concerts and lost a key band member in the process. Now they’re tasked with producing a sequel to their boundary-pushing cult-classic masterpiece, The Shape of Punk to Come, and anything short of awesome (in the original sense of the word) is destined to disappoint.

After a fierce opener that sounds like they’ve never been away (“nothing has changed”, screams Dennis Lyxzén over raging instrumentation), things then, regrettably, go downhill. Basing “Old Friends/New War” around an acoustic guitar “riff” doesn’t work very well. The brass-aided cheese shapes of “Françafrique” twerk out the stereo like the mohawked cousin of Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk.” Sonically and structurally, “Thought is Blood” echoes nu-metal. Other cuts offer mere Refused-by-numbers or even descend into self-parody, a trait best exemplified by the track title “Destroy the Man.” Destroy the legacy, more like. (

Author rating: 3/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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