Released in 2019
Reviewed October 24 2019
In 2015 Refused made a surprisingly decent comeback. But, as with most comebacks, it never threatened their early output. Rather a confirmation of their ability to pull it off without looking like idiots. Now they've come back from the comeback. Lo and behold. It's like the game is turned upside down again.
As always, you can choose to smirk at the lyrics. To call Refused a political band is like calling World War II a fistfight. Still, it's hard to separate their sincere anger from their music, so just play along.
War Music is an absolute winner. First, it's a real shot of adrenalin. Second, it's sounds great. Sharp and muscular. Third, it has a—let's call it timeless—disregard for fashion and history. Which means their trademark hardcore punk is spiced with metal from the really hairy end of the spectrum, without losing itself. You wouldn't move an eyelid if you saw ZZ Top nodding along to the boogie of 'Malfire'. Sitting on Ebbot Lundberg's lap. It's the sound of a band reinventing themselves.
Sounds like a recipe for disaster. But hey, this is war music. Disaster is just what the doctor ordered.