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Refused Stops Refusing And Agrees To Play

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 26, 2012 4:20PM


Refused is legendary in some circles. Wait, that's an understatement. You know how At The Drive In played kee-razy punk rock and added equal parts amphetamines and melody to the mix along with a healthy dose of ADD? Refused did it long before them. (And yes, fogies older than me, others did it way before Refused but Refused did it best in our eyes.) These hardcore (the music, not the attitude) Swedes only burned bright for a few years, but as their flare hit its apex they released their swan song and now classic album The Shape Of Punk To Come.

It's hard to emphasize appropriately just what The Shape Of Punk To Come Meant When It Came Out. The alternative radio era was already waning and crumbling under its own over produced and extravagantly melodramatic wake, indie rock had succumbed to the softer side of life, hip-hop was all flash and no danger and punk rock was, well, kind of boring or cartoonish. Refused was having none of that and took clashing time signatures, threw their guitars into blenders, told their drummer to take up jazz metal and then went for broke.

And then they broke up.

And then earlier this year they did what every other band who didn't truly get their due "back in the day" do; the put together a reunion tour. Only unlike other bands the intervening years haven't made them soft, so when they come through town to play The Congress Theater tonight we're not expecting a wave of nostalgia, we're looking for an electric current to explode. Stoking this evening's fire is OFF!, the punk supergroup comprised of member of Redd Kross, Black Flag / Circle Jerks, Rocket From the Crypt and Burning Brides ... and these dudes haven't aged a day musically either. In fact if their opening venom is a shape of punk t come afterward we are in for a helluva show tonight.

Refused and OFF! play tonight, July 26, at The Congress Theater, 2135 N Milwaukee, 6:30 pm., $29.50