Refused’s The Shape of Punk to Come sounds as unbelievably raucous and intense as it did 12 years ago. This climactic swansong obviously aped all of Refused’s hardcore and punk idols with practically every idea showcased, but the execution was perfect, which makes it all completely justified and, well, a moot point. The fact that the band broke up when it reached its absolute apex creatively is by definition punk as fuck. So, all those kids longing for a reunion clearly don’t get what these guys were all about. Refused’s lead singer Dennis Lyxzén recently spoke with Exclaim and explained his perspective in eschewing any sort of reunion to cash in on the legend:
“To be in that band is one of those things that half the time I’m sympathetic and understanding towards why people would do it. The other half, it’s just such a useless maneuver. It’s a defeatist attitude but if your objective is to play music with your friends and have a good time, there’s no harm in reuniting your band for a couple of shows. For us, there have always been so many other aspects of what we did, that it always felt like a complete no-no. You can’t do that shit. Minor Threat never got back together. That’s kind of our take on it. With some things, the legend is better than the actual thing.”
I doubt even many of the bands (with a legend to protect) who have chosen to reunite would disagree with Lyxzén there. The legend is always better than the actual thing. Anyone who witnessed Led Zeppelin in its heyday and then also happened to catch what constituted a reunited “Led Zeppelin” at the O2 Arena back in 2007 would in all likelihood affirm the same. Bands with the set of ideals that Refused actively preached have to stay true to the code or run the risk of becoming an utter mockery. So don’t hold your breath for a tour.
The Shape of Punk to Come has been reissued by Epitaph in a deluxe array of formats with all the requisite bonus features, including live tracks, liners, and photos. If you have never owned this album, and sometimes feel the urge to smash your face into a plate glass window, then I suggest you pick up a copy. You’re welcome. [Via Punk News]