Now THIS is punk! I know, I know, REAL punk, as defined by the Ramones, the Clash, the Sex Pistols, etc., has been “dead” for quite some time now, and all these pathetic groups that think they’re rebels just because they dye their hair weird colors are driving rusty nails into punk’s coffin, however……REAL punk is truly about being rebellious from the norm. REAL punk bands aren’t that well-known (at least at the time–so many people in the ’70’s had a clue who the Ramones were at first). REAL punk is often politically outspoken.And here, Refused have–or rather, HAD–all these traits. Led by Dennis Lyxzen (now fronting the [International] Noise Conspiracy), Refused wrote songs about anything from how history books lie (their famous song, “Burn It”), to how they themselves were making a difference in the music world. Just…look at some lyrics online. You’ll see what I mean.Now, for their absolute musical talents.The subtitle to this CD is “A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts.” This is so simply the truth. Here we have songs ranging from (actually talented) straight-out hardcore (“New Noise,” one of my favorites), jazz-influenced (“Liberation Frequency” and “The Deadly Rhythm”-on this latter one, just listen to the bridge of the song! Pure jazz!), and often bordering on…techno (like on the latter half of the first track, “Worms of the Senses/Faculties of the Skull,” as well as “Brutist Pome #5″).Dennis Lyxzen has quite a range of vocals in his voice; from unbelievably hardcore screams that put all the new “screamo” bands to pure shame, to spoken-word, to falsetto-pitched melodies. This guy is very talented. Again, for more, check out some of his work with the (International) Noise Conspiracy.Kristofer Steen and Jon Brannstrom: two guitarists that, while they obviously know quite a few things on playing the strings, don’t overdo it or rub it in your face. They can be heavy, they can be soft, they play acoustic, electric, whatever!Magnus Bjorklund, a very talented bassist. He helps pull in some more of the jazzier parts, especially on said bridge of “The Deadly Rhythm,” where he plays a standing bass….and then there’s David Sandstrom, drummer extraordinaire. He can do it all: jazzy, quieter parts; loud, snare-heavy abominations of noise. He’s so damn fast, he’s…UGH! LISTEN TO THIS MAN PLAY!Sadly, Refused broke up in 1999, less than a year after completing this album, which to me is their absolute magnum opus. Raid Amazon and your local used stores for this band’s music! Other notable albums to get include EVERLASTING, SONGS TO FAN THE FLAMES OF DISCONTENT, and the EP released in conjunction with this album, the NEW NOISE E.P.CAN I SCREAM!!?