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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Jamie Thomson

Refused: Freedom review – Swedish hardcore provocateurs give in to gimmickry

Delivered... Jamie Thomson | Scene | Thu 2 Jul 2015 10:15 pm


Had Refused’s legacy not been held in such high regard (their 1998 album The Shape of Punk to Come is an article of faith for legions of mop-topped metalcore bands), the reformed Swedish hardcore provocateurs would not have felt the need to play fast and loose with it – or so they claim. However, you only half believe them: conveniently, a handful of songs here come pre-prepared from an instrumental side-project – and Elektra, Dawkins Christ and Destroy the Man display their undeniable ability to wrap catchy riffs around dynamic time-changes and structures. The others, however, double down on the studio gimmicks that entranced the likes of Enter Shikari – and, as with Francafrique, which marries an off-the-peg funky guitar riff to sampled beats and playground chants, Freedom becomes an experiment in seeing how many different genres frontman Denis Lyxzén can shout over. They also occasionally bear more than a passing resemblence to Lyxzén’s other band, the (International) Noise Conspiracy. There’s a half-decent EP struggling to be heard here, but when set beside the likes of Old Friends/New War – a baffling grab-bag of pitchshifted vocals, rhythmic heavy breathing, choppy digitised guitar and a sung “emo” chorus – the only thing Refused are in danger of provoking is embarrassed laughter.

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