Refused - The New Noise Theology (Cover Artwork)


The New Noise Theology (2000)


Before I even start this review, one thing must be said. You should already own this EP. It is widely available, cheap, and the 4 songs on here have more intelligence and raw energy then just about any other CD out there at the moment. If you do own this, then you already know how genius this sucker is...but for those who dont, allow me to enlighten you.

Refused are the hardcore/punk legends of tommorow. What Operation Ivy, The Sex Pistols, and the Dead Kennedys are too most of us today, Refused will be to our kids tommorow. After a couple of average to good releases, this swedish band finally released its masterpiece, The Shape Of Punk To Come in the midst of there self destruction. That album was exactly what its title suggested. It showed what hardcore bands could do if they simply threw off the shackels of their genre and strived to write something new. That album has made this band legendary, but thankfully it was not there final release.

The New Noise Theology EP picks up exactly where the last album left off. Well actually Id say it picks up where about song 9 left off because that CD's ending was perfect..but you know what I mean. The first song is this bands most popular, "New Noise". Everything about this song is great, from the infectious opening guitar line, to the empassioned screaming at the ending. "New Noise" is one of the best hardcore songs ever written, and embodies everything Refused stands for. Clocking in at well over 4 minutes long, it is a intense and vivid experience...and that is only the first song! From Dennis' disenchanted scream of "THE NEW BEAT!" we are shuttled into the song "Blind Date". This song has a great guitar line, a nice loud/soft dynamic and a very catchy vocal line. It is the shortest song on the EP, but more then makes up for that with its energy. Next up is "Poetry written in gasoline" which was a tough song to like for me. It is painfully long (6 or 7 minutes I believe) and not as well written as the two previously mentioned least thats what I thought at first. After about 5 listens, this songs brilliance suddenly consumed me. I cant explain it. But it is a great song, and I cant think of a better compliment for it then that there is no way to define it in words. Unfortunately the EP ends on a average note with the remix of "Refused are fucking dead" (my favorite refused song). How much you like this song depends on how much you like electronic music. I like it alot, but I know some people dont, so if your one of them, you probably wont like this song. And even for a electronic music fan, this remix isnt what it could have been, and is further hurt by the stellar quality of the songs before it.

Overall, this EP is a must have for anyone who likes music. If you have any interest in hardcore or punk, this EP is a cheap and easy find way to experience the last songs of a dying band. The mix on here is great, its nice and heavy, crunchy, and just dirty enough to maintain its power without losing clarity. The bass, vocal and drum tracks are also very well defined and fully audible over the driving guitar riffs . My only problem with it being that "New Noise" has a cleaner sound to it then the rest of the songs, which makes it stick out a bit. The other songs mixes are just as good in my opinion, they are actually a bit rougher around the edges and I like that, but the difference in sound is a bit odd. And the remix at the end is a debatable isnt up to the quality of the other 3 songs, but it is still pretty decent. But those are only minor blemishes on this otherwise excellent recording. I cannot recommend it enough.

"We dance to all the wrong songs, we enjoy all the wrong moves!" Long live Refused! You will hopefully always be remembered.

PS-If you dig this band, make sure to check out The (international) Noise Conspiracy, Dennis' spiritual succesor to this band, and also TEXT who are made of the former members of this band. They are currently on Buddyhead Records