What the fuck is it about Sweden that produces such badass bands? In the early 90’s REFUSED, with gems like their first studio album “This Just Might Be… the Truth” in ’94, WERE hardcore. period. PUMP THE BRAKES indeed.
I don’t “think” I ever saw them in the 90’s, then again I’m forever going back thru old pics and seeing a band/set with no recollection. Surely I wouldn’t have forgotten a set like that though. In either case, thank god Graham’s “Margin Walker Presents” brought them in town to the Mohawk in 2016. What a fucking show w/ the Coathangers opening up. As I write this article, I’m listening to their discography. Or attempting to….I’ve already listened to the 1st album 3 times on repeat. None of the grunting vocals crap that I can’t stand…just straight up hardcore. pun intended. “Inclination”..”Strength”…every fucking song on that album rips. Put that fucker on PLAY right now. trust me.
In the meantime…let’s move on to their 2nd studio album “Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent” in ’96, which starts of with the namesake of this article, “Better Off Dead” and proceeds to once again RIP non-stop. On this album, they have a more METAL sound. Which is sure as fuck fine by me. I dig bands that don’t rest of the laurels and continue to evolve. I’m honestly not sure how bands that don’t….keep from getting bored out of their minds. Once again, not a bad song on this album. Rather than go thru them all, I’ll post another video (in this case the whole album) before getting to the main reason I wrote this article….their upcoming show at PUNK ROCK BOWLING.
I would be remiss not to mention how different their 3rd album “The Shape of Punk to Come” sounds. Apparently it didn’t go over well with a lot of folk…probably the same fucks that had a problem with Paul’s Boutique when it came out. It’s my favorite album of theirs, hands down. Grab the “Deluxe” version which has badass live songs on it to boot. Okay, back to Punk Rock Bowling 2019 taking place at the end of May in Vegas as usual. One hell of a line up was announced a month or so back. Last year was the first time I was able to make it to Vegas for the annual jam. No doubt REFUSED will tear up the stage much like the SVETLANAS did last year. Shameless plug for my homies.
Hope to see you fuckers there this year. Grab your tickets and hotel NOW !! The hotels are fairly cheap if you book far enough in advance. Freemont Street is a hoot. And of course their are the legendary “Club Shows” at night, which have yet to be announced band wise…but are always the shit… Oh and of course there is BOWLING, dude.