Live Review: Refused return with deadly rhythm and a tune-up show at the Sinclair in Cambridge

Two surprises came with the late-April announcement that “Refused are fucking alive” as the press release put it; one, that the Swedish hardcore punk legends had a new album on deck – Freedom, out June 30 — their first since 1998’s flawless The Shape of Punk to Come, and secondly a tour that would see the band play small clubs, like The Sinclair last Monday, ahead of a summer outing with another comeback outfit, Faith No More.

Hyperkinetic frontman Dennis Lyxzén dominated the stage from the word go, which in this case was the brand new song “Elektra,” the first single from Freedom. Two additional tracks were played from the upcoming album, the almost poppy “Françafrique” and the hard-charging “Dawkins Christ.” The new ones sat nicely alongside favorites “Rather Be Dead,” “The Deadly Rhythm” — which featured a bit of Slayer’s “Raining Blood” — and “New Noise,” which as the first song of the encore predictably received the biggest response and most abrasive pit.

Here’s the full setlist:
The Shape of Punk to Come
The Refused Party Program
Rather Be Dead
Summerholidays vs. Punkroutine
The Deadly Rhythm (w/ “Raining Blood” riff)
Dawkins Christ
Coup d’état
Refused Are Fucking Dead
Liberation Frequency
Protest Song ’68 (partial)
Tannhäuser / Derivè

New Noise
Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull

And If you missed the primer for the album and extended tour, not to worry; Refused return to town August 4 with Faith No More at the Blue Hill Bank Pavilion.

In the meantime, here are some shots from the June 1 Sinclair show…



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