Refused - Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent (Cover Artwork)


Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent (1996)


Two years before the groundbreaking release of The Shape of Punk to Come, Refused was putting out great music with strong political beliefs that you'd come to expect with them. With SFFD being their second full length album (at least second album released and listed on cdnow -- it's actually the 6th album they've put out), this hardcore hit pleased the many who had listened to it. I'd consider this album to be the first which would really shape their style which became popular later. Overall it was a bit harder than The Shape of Punk to Come, but musically was put together much better than 1995's Everlasting.

The album blasts open with the song Rather be Dead (also their first single, which had a very cool video), and it really catches your attention. This is a very good song to start the album off with. Songs like It's Not O.K. and Coup D'Etat really make you wonder why Refused didn't blow up and take the entire scene by storm. They have it all - incredible music, an extremely loyal fan base (makes me think of the Ramones) and of course an awesome live show.

If you're new to Refused, I'd recommend listening to thier albums in reverse chronilogical order, although it wouldn't hurt to hear this first. It's a mix of a ton of different styles - they even sound almost metalish on the song Crusader of Hopelessness. As somebody who absolutely hates metal, I can honestly say if all metal sounded like that song then I'd become a huge fan. But hey, that's one of the things that I love Refuse for - you can't label them. Are they punk? Of course. But they're different, in a very good way.