REFUSED IN 2012: BLINDFOLD OPTIONAL
Refused’s music is awesome, but I eye-roll so hard I can see my spine at their vibe. I mean, fuck I nearly threw out my neck just reading their reunion statement. It’s all, “Once we were a band. We played music. Music for you. We are intense. Our intense intensity broke up the band. We were over it. Now we play music again. For you. Now I shall list our exceptional achievements since breaking up: Kristoffer earned a doctorate in assal-horizontology, Dennis led a peasant’s revolt in the Bajina region of Uruguay, Hans invented an advanced turd destinker, and Fðsterlitz lived a full year in the center of the sun. See you in the pit.”
But I can calm my ballz cuz that’s just talk. Really, a band is a band cuz they jam wildly together, and must be appraised not on personality but on these jamz — tough though that might be. So, fuck it let’s take a totally non-petty look at footage of mega-jam “New Noise” from Refused’s first show in 14 years on Wednesday:
- This clip picks up “New Noise” already in progress, so we don’t hear singer Dennis Lyxzén’s sad admission that Refused got back together to reclaim the song from disturbing, awkward Anthrax.
- Shirtless Dennis Lyxzén = barf. Note to skinny-fat dudes: Push-ups and sensible portions 4 life.
- “I think for our big secret reunion gig I’ll rock this clunky hollow body Gretsch or whatever. That’ll blow minds. Cuz we’re hardcore but it’s a oldfg guitar for jazz pussies. Objections?”
- That moment during the jam’s cutting-edge, genre-busting electronic interlude (2:16) when the whole room is standing there waiting with unblown minds. Orange you glad the DJ wannabe(s) in the band won the argument to shoehorn that shit in there?
- Say, have you ever been to a show when the band isn’t proudly rocking out exactly, but rather persistently darting eyes toward the crowd for reaction checks? On its face, this might seem like a symptom of Douche Fever but I don’t know; it’s probably more panicking plus girlish affirmation harvesting. What’s your vibe on this? Feels gross?
- Hey guitarist at stage left: This is the part of the song where you don’t play (1:58), so hey why not totally disengage, turn your back, and enjoy a drink of cool water? Cuz ticket holders had been waiting since ’98 for that thrilling showmanship.
- The end of the song when Lyxzén chants “Deng Xiaopeng” or “jujubes” or “Sideshow Pete” or whatever? Turns out at least one fan knows/cares what he’s saying (3:48). Nice.
- Your reunited band might be lulzy when the hired bassist looks sheepish up there. The bass player. Yeah. We’re talking about a species of dude that eats out of dumpsters and wears mesh shirts and says “tie one on” and shit — he’s uncomfortable on your stage. Think about that.
- Lolz at the two girls in the front row. Low lighting makes it impossible to see, but you bet your boner that there’s a guy one row back who’s appointed himself their defense from inconsiderate moshers. Gender equality.
- More lolz at the failtubs in the front row. “OMG I met my bf Atticus at the Refused reunion. He builds bicycles from discarded diapers. His neck tattoo is in Latin.”
- Concertgoers who don’t jam out and party so much as demonstrate their knowledge of the song: responsible for AIDS.
Refused is awesome but I’ll be wearing a radiation suit and no contact lenses to their upcoming SF show. Full reunion tour dates here.