Sound — 10
Ask any modern rock band if they list Refused as one of their influences and they will almost always say yes. The Shape of Punk to Come is the crown achievement of the Refused, an album that they went into knowing that it would probably be their last. The "last hoorah" concept behind the album is surely what brought it to greatness. Onto how this album kicks so much ass. Firstly, the guitar work, while not technically impressive, all the guitar work is written very intelligently. The timing and staggered rhythms help what may be considered "cliched" guitar verses find new energy. When not following along with the guitar, the bass will be laying down jazz rhythms. Of special interest is the bridge in "The Deadly Rhythm". There is a classic jazz riff played on a standing double bass. While not a bass on the record, they played it on a bass live so it counts. Of special interest to me is the drum work. It is the fullest, most complex drum work I've ever heard. What sounds simple at first is actually extremely deep drum rhythms. He plays jazz rhythms, punk rhythms, everything. It's so incredible you just have to listen to it yourself. Dennis, the singer, almost entirely abandons any semblance of singing on this record. His scream punctuates all of the music perfectly. As a whole the record is great. Not one song is filler. Every single song has its own personality, a rarity among rock records. A perfect record, in my opinion.
Lyrics — 9
While I personally like singing along with screaming, the singing in this record fits perfectly fine. It allows the listener to focus on the music as well as the lyrics. The political views expressed reflect my own (probably because refused influenced them), so I find great meaning in them. it's not enough that they're well written though, so the fact that there is truckloads of attitude in there as well helps greatly. Take, for instance, the first line of the first song (excluding the intro) "I've got a bone to pick with capitalism, and a few to break!" Gloriously angry.
Overall Impression — 10
The Shape Of Punk To Come is thought by many to be a masterpiece. Songs of note are "Worms Of The Senses", "Protest song '69" and, every other song. Just get this album. I hate nothing about it, I love everything about it. It has inspired me personally and musically. I suggest to anyone who has an interest in producing good hardcore music that "Shape Of Punk" be in their CD library.