My 2xLP copy of The Shape of Punk to Come is sitting at the post office. Tomorrow will be an early Christmas for me. I haven't stopped listening to said record all day. Doing work, driving to work, closing the restaurant, driving home, writing this...well, you get the point.
The Shape of Punk to Come is arguably the Sgt. Peppers of punk music. The name was bold. The attempts were bolder. The pay off has stuck to this day and ironically the ideas that went into the system aren't seen by many. Even one of the creators of the album thinks the worship is all talk and no show.
The Shape of Punk to Come is a solid album under many pretenses. For one, it is driving and heightening. It has the power to set itself off like carefully placed bombs of passion. Did any of us really care what Lyxzén had to say? It wasn't what he had to say, but more of how hard it hit with the rest of the music behind it. We didn't believe in "the new beat," we yearned for the new BEAT!
If there's one thing special about the album that artists should take away, it was that it attempted something. Sure, there's tons of influence from the American hardcore circuit of the early to mid-90's, but it was meld into its own thing by four different artists blending and even fighting for different ideas to come into the mix. They challenged themselves which in turn challenged their listeners.
Punk has always been about the challenge. Whether it was the Sex Pistol's disgust or The Clash's political siren to no-wave, Fugazi's angular instrumentation and hardcore kids learning how to actually play their instruments with equal parts creativity and aggression.
A few years later we were introduced to albums like Relationship of Command and Worship and Tribute, once again challenging our tastes and what we think "punk" is in the end. The Shape of Punk to Come will stand as that album that changed the next ten years for better or worse. Seriously, look around you. Look at this site. Look at your hometown garage band start-ups. Look at the flavors of the week.
In the last month I've been kind of longing for another shape to come. I guess I'll have to be patient, or are we too far gone? Time will tell I presume. Until then, there is one line that is forever burned into my brain..."Where do we go from here?! Just about anywhere!"
God. I sure as hell hope so, because Refused are Fucking Dead!
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