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About Refused

In the ’90s, Swedish rock was synonymous with death metal, but thanks to Refused, it became a hotbed for hardcore punk too. The group formed in Umeå, Sweden, in 1991 and weathered multiple lineup changes, with the only constant members through the years being vocalist Dennis Lyxzén and drummer David Sandström. Early on, Refused released a pair of hardcore albums, 1994’s This Just Might Be the Truth and 1996’s Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent. The band then obliterated genre boundaries and sonic expectations with 1998’s acclaimed The Shape of Punk to Come, a ferocious and groundbreaking album that incorporated nods to funk, jazz, post-punk and electronic music within its aggressive rhythmic changes and guitars. Despite this creative apex, Refused broke up in 1998 while on tour in the U.S. In the wake of the acrimonious split, Lyxzén formed the politically minded garage-rock band The (International) Noise Conspiracy and later released darker post-punk music under the name INVSN. However, Refused became hugely influential on the screamo, metal and post-hardcore movements while broken up, leading to a reunion in 2012 that included appearances at Coachella and Sweden’s Way Out West Festival. And with the releases of Freedom in 2015 and War Music in 2019, Refused built on their legacy by updating hardcore for the modern era.

Umeå, Sweden
Hard Rock
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