Refused Premiere ‘Francafrique,’ Second New Song Off Upcoming Album, ‘Freedom’
If punk has ever gotten as funky, flexible or clever as "Françafrique," the latest preview of the new album by Refused, it was probably on the last Refused album, 1998's The Shape of Punk to Come. Regardless, judging by the two tastes we've had so far off the upcoming full-length -- titled Freedom and out June 30 on Epitaph -- the Swedish quartet appears to be pushing not only to outdo itself but to once again take punk to places it never seemed it could go.
Watch the official lyric video for the new trackb above.
After a 17-year hiatus that saw the band reunite in fits and starts and ultimately abandon the idea of releasing new material in 2012, "Françafrique" proves that this is no half-hearted reunion. The song captures the passion, fire and musical proficiency of a band that still sounds hungry -- in short, everything that fans dream of when a band gets back together after a long wait.
A scathing indictment of Europe's exploitative presence in Africa during the post-colonial era, "Françafrique" begins with a group of children chanting "Exterminate the brutes!" -- the famous Col. Kurtz quote from Joseph Conrad's 1899 literary classic Heart of Darkness, which takes place in roughly the same geographic region the band targets in the song.
It's no surprise that Refused can meld crunching guitar riffs and screaming vocals with horns, children's chants, melodic hooks and intricate production, seeing as Freedom was produced by Nick Launay, who has worked with versatile post-punk acts like Public Image Ltd., Gang of Four and Nick Cave as well as Arcade Fire. And talk about "keeping it real" -- two of the album's songs were helmed by Swedish producer Shellback, who has worked the faders for bubblegum merchants like Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and Kesha.
Freedom is now available for pre-order at refusedstore.com. A limited-edition exclusive CD package that includes a 28-page hardbound book, exclusive artwork with gold foil stamping, and a double sided poster is available as well.
Refused began a headlining U.S. tour this past weekend at the Punk Rock Bowling festival in Las Vegas. The band plays a sold-out show tonight (May 26) in Los Angeles followed by a string of club dates. Refused will also open for Faith No More on select dates later this summer. Find their full tour itinerary here.
2. "Old Friends / New War"
3. "Dawkins Christ"
5. "Thought Is Blood"
6. "War On The Palaces"
7. "Destroy The Man"
9. "Servants Of Death"
10. "Useless Europeans"