When it formed in Sweden in 1991, Refused sounded like any other hardcore band influenced by the later era of that music. But by the time of its second record, 1996's Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent, these guys made it clear to anyone paying attention that they were on to something a little different. Strains of jazz, punk and prog collided and fused into the caustic, bold statement of intent heard on the epochal 1998 album The Shape of Punk to Come. Invoking the spirit of Ornette Coleman's 1959 classic of avant-garde jazz (The Shape of Jazz to Come), Shape exploded the boundaries of an increasingly stagnant musical movement. If the band's recent Coachella performance is any indication, Refused still brings that transmogrification from frustration to inspiration to the stage.
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