Punknews.org
Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come [reissue] (Cover Artwork)

Refused

Refused: The Shape of Punk to Come [reissue]The Shape of Punk to Come [reissue] (2004)
Burning Heart

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: pwfanaticpwfanatic
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The saying is something like, "If it isn't broken, then don't fix it." When I heard that "The Shape of Punk to Come" was heading back to the studio for a second time around, I was not sure if I was too excited about that. I am one of the appreciators of this album and I regard it as one of the b.
iTunes StoreAmazon


The saying is something like, "If it isn't broken, then don't fix it." When I heard that "The Shape of Punk to Come" was heading back to the studio for a second time around, I was not sure if I was too excited about that. I am one of the appreciators of this album and I regard it as one of the best albums ever created. Refused and company were ahead of their time when they said it and their untimely end would prove that no one would every come close to replicating it. Where as many people refuse to admit that this "non-punk" influenced the music they listen to in any fashion, I can still see little touches in many bands that recall this album. So here I am sitting here thinking that this chimerical bombination of twelve bursts is practically the second coming. Any negative change would be considered blasphemy, so the hopes seemed impossibly high for this album to be any form of success. The advertisement for the other remastered albums inside calls it "A punkrock odyssey through shit and failure." Rather sure of themselves they are…

The changes start rather immediately. The first line of the album is no longer "I've got a bone to pick with capitalism," but is now, "Grab us by the throat and shake the life away." Hearing this difference was disconcerting and caught me off guard, and would be the set reaction for every change that was made. From the start however, everything is much clearer. Every guitar line, every cymbal hit, every single one of Dennis's shrieks, it has all been touched up and cleaned up. The full effect of the 5.1 comes experienced as "Let's take the first bus out of here" literally echoes all around your head, and it was at this point that I realized that this was the way the album was truly meant to be listened to.

The genius of the touch up can be heard right at the beginning of "Liberation Frequency." I for one did not know that there are actually two little guitar lines strumming along, one being much quieter than the other. However, with the clean up done, it is a lot more noticeable. This is what makes the remastering a complete success. I always knew that "The Shape of Punk to Come" was a rather complex and pretentious album, but on the CD version, a lot of it just gets buried underneath its own distortion and heaviness. Not this time around, for the result of the extra studio work put in to cleaning it up showcases the skills of all the musicians even more. Everything is heard and nothing drowns anything out (except for a few times when Dennis' vocals are a bit too loud for comfort). But it is these little clean ups done that makes it so great. I never knew that in the stand up bass breakdown on "The Deadly Rhythm" (actually, I don't know if they added this effect or not) there was the background noise of a little jazz club crowd, clapping at the very end. It is these little tweaks that make listening to this album for the first time an experience. I constantly found myself shocked at first, but then after the change sunk in, pleasantly surprised.

Aside from "Brutish Pome #5" which got a heavy, yet understandably easier makeover, the huge shock of the album is the "Refused Are Fuckin' Dead." We all remember the remix put out on "The New Noise Theology EP", so I was wondering exactly what they were going to call this song, because about halfway through, it completely breaks down into a mix of that old remix with some new little touches thrown in. "The Refused Are Fuckin' Dead .5 remix?" It's a bit crazy sounding with all the new electronics thrown in, but after it is all over, the song still feels familiar.

This is the standard aftertaste of every change that was made. It all still feels familiar; the original album just seems like a teaser now. It almost seems like this was the plan all along, that the boys of Refused just knew that they were going to release the album in this fashion eventually. It makes complete use of all the speakers, and not in a way that is overbearing at all. An incredibly pretentious album gets an incredibly pretentious makeover. The shoes still fit on the album. So after I have sat here and converted myself to a frighteningly devoted follower of a defunct band, there has to be something wrong with the album. The only thing that I can think of would be that to truly experience the release the way it was meant would require a lot of electronics surrounding you head. That is quite true, but I also listened to the album on my own crappy two speakers hooked up to my computer, and it still sounds fantastic. Not as cool, but I still will listen to this version of it over the original. So pretty much the only down side I can see to the whole release is that DVD players in cars are still semi-expensive (I think, I don't look at their prices) and so I cannot blast revolution in the new fashion as I drive down the streets of America suburbia like I want to.

Other than that, nothing is wrong at all. This is one of the best albums ever made even better. And for those that have the equipment to truly experience 5.1 digital surround sound, do not even hesitate. Go buy this album now! But when it is all said and done, the best part of it isn't even on the actual release. It's the little flyer advertising all the new releases, as well as a picture of an all black DVD that made me drool continuously for over fifteen minutes. "The Refused Are Fucking Dead DVD - Refused are dead. They spent the last year in existence touring godforsaken hellholes scattered around the western world. This is their testament." What a bunch of loveable cocky bastards…

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Against Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseNOFX - The DeclineAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyNOFX - Punk In DrublicPropagandhi - Supporting CasteJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegePropagandhi - Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
TheFury (September 17, 2012)

There should be no doubt that this is ONE of the most amazing hardcore/punk albums ever. Nation of Ulysses is great but an entirely different animal...

captainmicrowave (July 2, 2012)

"pretentious"

You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

nonicknameatall (November 18, 2008)

what? how did they rip off international noise conspiracy????
Refused came before inc, they broke up and dennis them made inc
so its physically impossibe for refused to have ripped off the international noise conspiracy. if anything they ripped off refused! haha
but this is a purely AMAZING album, i listen to it every day. my alltime fav band :) :)

AlexAlexAlex (August 5, 2006)

seriously one of the best cd of the last 10 years, and one of the most reveloutionary in the past 20.

FuckYouOiOiOi (March 30, 2006)

they totally ripped off international noise conspiracy.

Anonymous (December 4, 2005)

Daaaaaamb this is the best CD! I have ever heard and,I wish every body herd and new about this band even my grandmother listens to this CD>> !!!!!!!!!!!......... ;] KEEP UP THE GOOD FU*$#Kn WORK..........

Anonymous (September 7, 2005)

Strung Out.

killabot (August 9, 2005)

I love this album. I can't believe it took me awhile to buy it!

benz (July 12, 2005)

semantics.

punk hardcore whatever. this album is great.

-benz

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

fuckers. this isnt punk, this is fucking hardcore. and it is the greatest hardcore record to date. this band was the fucking greatest. punk is talentless shit-rock. refused fucking rocks.

Anonymous (December 19, 2004)

normally i don't like punk but this is unbelievable !!!

Anonymous (November 26, 2004)

Antioch Arrow and Guyana Punch Line

what did you need two more band names to drop? neither of these bands surpass Refused in talent OR importance in the realm of hardcore and/or punk

Anonymous (November 26, 2004)

This album is excellent.
They did rip off NOU.
Plays Pretty for Baby easily surpasses it.

So what's there to fight about? The originality of this album? C'mon. There are far less original/worse things to rip off than one of the best Hardcore bands of the early 90s.

Anonymous (November 25, 2004)

overrated

Anonymous (November 24, 2004)

Okay, this record is good. But one of the best ever? Naw.

I'd have to pick "Is This My World?" By Jerry's Kids as the BEST HC record ever.

-Ken

Anonymous (November 23, 2004)

Fuck this band!

-Chinatown

www.fatwreck.com

crossfiyaaa (November 22, 2004)

"Hey, lets play a fun game where we're all elitist fucks and name drop bands to make other people feel ignorant!"

That wasnt my point at all. As many comments here have proven, a lot of people on this board know who NOU is, and I encourage you to seek out their album "Plays Pretty For Baby." I'm just saying that, at least to these ears, Refused sound more than a bit like NOU. Note the jazzy breakdowns, sassy vocals [in fact, both bands have pretty damn similar vocals], live spoken word interludes, etc etc. I think Refused were good, and this is definitely their best album, but its far from the best hardcore album ever. Minor Threat, NOU, Born Against, Antioch Arrow and Guyana Punch Line all easily surpass them.

- The guy who made the first post comparing NOU to Refused."

BRAIN!!!!!!

yellowtrash (November 22, 2004)

Everyone else, go fuck yourselves. No one cares what you think.

Well, you could always stop reading our posts if you really believe that.

Anonymous (November 22, 2004)

They fucked it up a little bit, but it's still an awesome disc.

Everyone else, go fuck yourselves. No one cares what you think.

Anonymous (November 22, 2004)

"Hey, lets play a fun game where we're all elitist fucks and name drop bands to make other people feel ignorant!"

That wasnt my point at all. As many comments here have proven, a lot of people on this board know who NOU is, and I encourage you to seek out their album "Plays Pretty For Baby." I'm just saying that, at least to these ears, Refused sound more than a bit like NOU. Note the jazzy breakdowns, sassy vocals [in fact, both bands have pretty damn similar vocals], live spoken word interludes, etc etc. I think Refused were good, and this is definitely their best album, but its far from the best hardcore album ever. Minor Threat, NOU, Born Against, Antioch Arrow and Guyana Punch Line all easily surpass them.

- The guy who made the first post comparing NOU to Refused.

Anonymous (November 22, 2004)

oh, and incidentally, one of the best hardcore albums EVER

-notaclevername

Anonymous (November 22, 2004)

i think we should storm burning heart's business office (or wherever the responsible party is located) and demand that they release the refused dvd NOW

any takers?

-notaclevername

sickboi (November 22, 2004)

"My real concern is if anyone can actually afford a 5.1 sound system."

You can get a run-of-the-mill one, with a DVD player for like $200.

yellowtrash (November 22, 2004)

My real concern is if anyone can actually afford a 5.1 sound system.

Anonymous (November 21, 2004)

Yeah. NoU is good, Refused isn't. So of course they're not identical.

-Chinatown

FortyMinutesWest (November 21, 2004)

There are similarities, but it's not like they're indentical.

Anonymous (November 21, 2004)

"Shape" was a great record, and so was NoU's "Plays Pretty For Baby" - but for the people who say that they sound nothing alike, you should think back to the spoken-word interludes and odd jazzy breakdowns that exist in both bands.

I agree there are a lot of differences in both bands' sound, but some similarities do exist!

Anonymous (November 21, 2004)

"New Noise" is a crappy song with an uber-trendy video.

-bemused

Anonymous (November 21, 2004)

I think you're wrong there.

Anonymous (November 21, 2004)

A good record, but nothing more than good.
One of the absolute most OVER-FUCKING-RATED albums that would fall into the "punk" genre (or any genre for that matter).

And if they were still together, I guarentee people wouldn't give as much as a shit about this record.

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

"Not bad, but holy shit, try to rip off Nation of Ulysses a little more blatantly"

I know, same with that Ornette Coleman motherfucker... Damn, I hate these NoU rip offs!

-BSD

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

I'm suprised that everyone already tapped the "NoU" schtick already. I thought both bands were great, even if the Mr. Lyxzen seems prone to Svenonius worship (Nothing wrong with drawing some inspiration from the greats).

This is still an excellent record. Probably one of the few records I'd give a perfect score to. Granted their rhetoric is a tad stale and hypocritical, but it still makes for a good listen.

-ObeyYourParents

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

as much as i may like this it has to be the most overrated album in punk/hardcore

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

You all need to get jobs.

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

Where as many people refuse to admit that this “non-punk” influenced the music they listen to in any fashion, I can still see little touches in many bands that recall this album-

little touches? LITTLE TOUCHES? that my friends is an understatement. Every fucking band this side of Senses fail bites this disc-

oh yeah I discovered this new band the other day aswell, they're called At the Drive-O MY FUCK! AAAAAAAA

Barkley.

kenjamin (November 20, 2004)

oh man, so many douchebags on this thread. Go alphabetize your record collection or something.

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

right ok, everyone. except refused SOUND NOTHING LIKE NATION OF ULYSSES. they borrowed their asthetic, no denying it. borrowed stuff like that from born against too. but they don't sound like either band! they may have been influenced by bands, but they took what came before them, added their own stuff and came up with a unique and powerful mix.

p.s. oh right, they released a single. they MUST be sellouts.

p.p.s. and drop the elitist "oh you stupid kids have never heard NOU" bullshit. 'cause a lot of us listen to both.

stevejonestherealbones (November 20, 2004)

so all you people who are saying refused ripped off tons of bands can come up with one example, nation, and you are still only talking about their look? and its not even like nation had costumes and refused ripped them, its more like they comb their hair similar?

anyway. anyone like text. i can name drop too bitches. musically better than that international bullshit

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

The main difference between the NoU and Refused is that the former was into it for the love of music.

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

"refused ripped off Nation of Ulysses" is just something jaded scenesters who hate Refused say to sound cool...yeah ok maybe they adapted the look but that's about it...these bands sound way way far apart

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

Fuck this negativity. This new mix is incredible and deserving for such a monumental album. It sounds amazing. That's why it won the award for Best Multichannel Reissue at the Surround Music Awards in the US in August

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

Haven't heard this version, can't comment on that, but the original was fantastic.

Yes, Refused borrowed/stole (depending on whether you like the band or not) from a hell of a lot of older groups. They took NOU's image and style, they seized a lot musically from Born Against and Slayer. But Shape didn't sound like anything that any of those bands put out. I love them all, especially NOU, Plays Pretty For Baby was killer. But I truly do believe that Shape is a better album than anything Born Against or Ulysses put out. Refused were better musicians, they had more imagination (sonically; god knows NOU were imaginative in terms of everything else) and it was damned clear that they believed in what they were doing.

Anyway, the main reason I think Shape was a truly great album was the passion. There was more intensity behind a Dennis shriek or a Sandstrom drum breakdown than behind anything that any of the faux-punk or aimless hardcore bands that were around in the mid 90s managed in their entire career.

Music can't exist in a vacuum. Yeah, despite NOU's famous Beatles line, NOU owed a debt to many of the bands before them as well. As far as I'm concerned, there's plenty of room for NOU, Born Against and Refused to exist side by side.

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

would it make me super idie punx to say that refused is tons better than nation of ulysses and that they dont really sound anything alike? not to say that n.o.u. is bad but they arent similar at all.

hey the rolling stones ripped off the beatles lets shit down keith richards neck

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

Wow, so much animosity to one of the greatest bands in our section of music.

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

Fuck that, just hop on over to www.dischord.com and buy as many releases as you can. Only $10$. And make sure to buy the debut from the Routineers so you can tell me what they sound like.

-Chinatown

yellowtrash (November 20, 2004)

I am sorry to say, Refused did rip off Nation of Ulysses's aesthetic, and made it more accessible at the same time. Then T(I)NC formed after The Make Up formed. Now I'm just waiting for T(I)NC to break up and start a 70s psych band ala Weird War. Shape Of Punk To Come was good, but I feel like it hasn't aged too well.

For those who are interested in NoU:
http://www.southern.com/southern/band/ULYSS/

The Make-Up:
http://www.southern.com/southern/band/MAKUP/

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

And NoU had way more cred than this band of sell-outs. For starters, I've never heard of any NoU singles.

-Nation of Chinatown

crossfiyaaa (November 20, 2004)

"Thats the first time pointing out a typo reversed the meaning of the sentence. He meant everyone rips the refused sound and aesthetic off. "

I know I changed the meaning of the sentence, I got his original post. Guaranteed 90% of the bands today that have this "sound and aesthetic" are ripping off Refused, but Refused just ripped off nation of ulysses and made it popular. When this came out most people thought it was shockingly original and revolutionary, but it really wasn't.

This reminds me, see the plot to blow up the eiffel tower live.

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

they ruined one of the best punk cds ever made. adding minutes of noise into the middle of a song is fucking retarded. making the drums sound like cardboard is retarded. changing the vocals around is seriously stupid. i honestly can't imagine the band listening to this and going "oh yea this is DEFINITELY better. i love how the guitar is almost inaudable!"

SilentStorms (November 20, 2004)

I forgot to post under my name. Yay me. Wait... gay me. Sweet.

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

I haven't even heard the remastered version, but I love this fucking album. Kiss my ass with ur comments by the way! Yeeeeehaaaaaaaah!!!!

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

Hey, lets play a fun game where we're all elitist fucks and name drop bands to make other people feel ignorant!

Anonymous (November 20, 2004)

But the NoU actually sounded good.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

"Thats the first time pointing out a typo reversed the meaning of the sentence. He meant everyone rips the refused sound and aesthetic off."

i think that was the joke. anyway, it's true, they clearly ripped off Nation of Ulysses' schtick.

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

Not bad, but holy shit, try to rip off Nation of Ulysses a little more blatantly.

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

This just isn't as revolutionary as people seem to think. It's just bad metal with keyboards.

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

BSD you're such a fucking fag.

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

Ok, sorry, but that opening line is one of my favorite opening lines on an album ever, the removal of it takes away majorly from the song, and album. I mean that line sets the tone for the whole fucking album, and when it is followed by "and a few to break" it just screams greates punk opening ever.

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

"Refused gets ripped off by everyone"

I hate pointing out typos, but I think you meant "Refused ripped off everyone"."

Thats the first time pointing out a typo reversed the meaning of the sentence. He meant everyone rips the refused sound and aesthetic off.

wyzo

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

I love the original record, and as much as it pains me to say it, playing the DVD version was a huge disappointment. Here I was, with my 5.1 setup, anticipating the subwoofer blowing the doors off my apartment, and yet, it was a weaker mix than the CD.

I know DVD affords a greater dynamic range, but the guitars sound muffled, and as some of the other comments mentioned, the vocals are waaay too high in the mix. I love Dennis' voice on this record, even more so than Songs to Fan the Flames..., but the without the incredible music behind him, it's nowhere near as incredible a performance, or a record.

I'd say that you should keep listening to your CD, as this mix is really disappointing. I can't imagine why... both Pig Destroyer and Mastodon managed to put together wonderful and expanside 5.1 mixes for their latest releases.

crossfiyaaa (November 19, 2004)

"Refused gets ripped off by everyone"

I hate pointing out typos, but I think you meant "Refused ripped off everyone".

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

i can't believe you gave this reissue a good review...they fucking BUTCHERED one of the greatest punk records of the 90s...this is a giant travesty...the amazing guitar tone is gone...the amazing drumming is toned down...Dennis's voice (and ego) is pushed to the forefront...there's all these horrible bullshit techno-y parts thrown in (see: Brutist Pome, Protest Song, Tannhauser, Refused Are Fucking Dead) and all these different little nuances are thrown in that turn the album to shit...they even changed that amazing first line...god they threw this fucking AWFUL and super awkward radio/sample segment in Protest Song...then proceeded to butcher that amazing guitar line where the drums fade out at the end...I don't know what the fuck they were thinking...and that part in Tannhauser during the spoken word part that used to be so amazing...ugh i don't even wanna talk about it...

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

Pavement formed long before Refused. And just so you know, JTB is my favorite indie band. Fucknuts.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

Go listen to pavement chinatown

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

Refused gets ripped off by everyone

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

I've only heard 2 songs by this "legendary" band--New Noise and the one on P-O-R 4. I don't care for either of them.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

hmmmmm i seem to have put an "a" in there instead of an "e"

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

Is it just me or does that new song by the Used sound like a really bad Rafused rip off? Wait a minute, used, refused, refUSED, holy shit!

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

i love the fuck out of this album. but i'm not really ok with them changing it.

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

just so everyone knows this is a dvd audio cd and needs to be played on a dvd player, it won't play in a normal cd player

bemused (November 19, 2004)

amzing album. still sounds as fresh as it did when I first heard it

-Chris-

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

I actually like this band somewhat. Not that great in my opinion, but I can see how they'd be popular with druggy commies.

-BSD

kenjamin (November 19, 2004)

hmmm... perhaps you should have explained how 5.1 surround sound works? Your review is really vague on that.

kenjamin (November 19, 2004)

"I cannot blast revolution in the new fashion as I drive down the streets of America suburbia like I want to." Awesome, except you ended the sentence with a preposition. You fail, otherwise good review. I really hope one of my friends pick this up. Oh and BSD, before you make a negative comment on this album, shut your cake hole.

TheOneTrueBill (November 19, 2004)

So pretty much all they did was remaster it, and screw with the one song?

Anonymous (November 19, 2004)

fucking eh.

boba_fett (November 19, 2004)

this cd is awesome.

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go