In Praise of Refused

I love music that exhibits a visceral intelligence – a confluence of thought and action.  I can’t think of a band that exemplifies those concepts more aggressively than Refused.

Wikipedia lists the band’s genres as “hardcore punk, post-hardcore, experimental rock, metallic hardcore/thrashcore” and that sounds about right.  But their music is also a perfect combination belief and movement.  Their final record “The Shape of Punk to Come” (1998) is visionary, fearless and one of the greatest punk/post-hardcore records of all time.  “Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent” (1996) sounds like the heaviest, most urgent band in the world.  Do yourself a favor and check out their full set at Coachella in 2012 – their fourth show after 14 years away (band kicks in around 3:00):

Like Minor Threat, Fugazi and Quicksand, Refused push you forward. They broke up in ’98 but reformed for the 2012 run, which seems to have been a one-and-done reunion tour. I hope they play again.  The records don’t get old, but I really want to be there in person.