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Late Night Thoughts: The Shape of Drew to Come
Late Night Thoughts: The Shape of Drew to Come
06/08/10 at 02:13 AM by Adam Pfleider
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!

Exerts from the Refused Chapter
“We would get into the nitty gritty of the rhythms and figure out what would work.” This is where Sandström says the worship and influence of his band’s record lacks in contemporary music. “The bands that usually talk about that record are bands that sound like the groove is surgically removed from their [own] records. The studio where we recorded, there are bands that come there every year from Mexico and America and all over, to record. Some labels pay them to be there, just because The Shape of Punk to Come was recorded there. Those bands that record, I don't understand the connection.”


“We were a band that had all these people around us, who were very creative and smart and crazy funny people. I think we were sort of competing with each other and trying to make the most radical statement. That was part of the motivation. We grew up with hardcore punk. We were hardcore kids. We had been playing hardcore punk for years. At some point we ran out of ways to do it, we ran out of ideas, and that’s when people started changing stuff up, and we were very creative when it came to reimagining the specific stylistic peculiarities of the American hardcore punk history.”

The idea of creating music, Sandström says, was examining how certain rhythms were effective and explosive. Could they do a hardcore song that had a jazz break in the middle? Could they have a song that was really heavy and violent, but also had a violin intro. “It was a game in that sense, like to try and just do it.”


“We were sort of getting intricate. What would this sound like if we did this or that in the studio? Every song had an idea. Certain guitar sounds. I used different drum sets for the sound of each song for the sounds we wanted to make.” - Sandström

thanks for reading my work. I can't wait to share more!

- love and respect
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