Refused are getting set to release, Freedom, their first album in 17 years, on June 30. We’ve been listening to the album for the past few weeks, and it’s stellar. While not a genre-defining album like 1998’s The Shape of Punk to Come, it’s a nice, natural progression for the band. It sounds current, but not forced. While some longtime fans that have had 17 years to process their last album will probably not be impressed, the band are more popular now than they’ve ever been, and their tour and festival appearances will likely pick them up some fans that weren’t even alive when their last album was released.
While “Electra” is sonically the most direct link to their past, the rest of the album is more diverse. Take”Francafrique,” for example, which the band started streaming today. It sounds a little more like a With Teeth-era Nine Inch Nails song, and with it’s “murder murder murder, kill kill kill” refrain, will likely become a crowd favorite when they play live, which they’re doing now.
Freedom is out on Epitaph Records on June 30th, and can be preordered here.