Despite past claims that they had kicked the bucket, Refused are very much alive in 2015. The pioneering Swedish hardcore band just released "Elektra," a track lifted from Freedom, their first new studio album in 17 years. The release will hit stores on June 30 via Epitaph.
"Elektra" was produced and co-written by Shellback, a Swedish hitmaker best known for his work with such pop stars as Taylor Swift, Britney Spears and Pink. It might sound like an odd pairing on paper, but Shellback doesn't get in the way of Refused's aural assault. "Elektra" keeps in the sonic tradition of their last full-length, 1998's beloved The Shape of Punk to Come. While the song features a few electronica touches, most of the track is driving hard rock.
Shellback also produced a track called "366" on the new album, with the remainder of the eight songs on Freedom being overseen by Nick Launay (Arcade Fire, Nick Cave). "It’s not a reunion anymore," said singer Dennis Lyxzén in a statement. "This is one of the most radical things we’ve ever done, both musically and lyrically."
Here's the cover art for Freedom:
Formed in 1991, Refused's early material was influenced by traditional hardcore and punk. It wasn't until The Shape of Punk to Come that the Umeå band cemented their reputation as one of the more daring acts in their genre. The album incorporated elements of jazz, drum and bass and techno, along with spoken word samples into their hardcore approach, blowing people's minds in the process. Head here for Refused's upcoming tour dates, including a run with Faith No More in the U.S.