Punk infused energy
The Swedish punk rockers Refused are back with a bang. Their newest EP, The Malignant Fire, is energetic and packed with a message: capitalism has failed. Maybe that is why the band is featured on the highly anticipated action game Cyberpunk 2077, a game that is long rumored to be critical of capitalism. The game will feature an extensive presence of Refused, and they give life to the band SAMURAI with lead singer, Johnny Silverhand (aka Keanu Reeves.)
Now that Cyberpunk 2077 won’t be released until some time in December, fans of Refused (and maybe the game) can get into the spirit with the EP. From the first second to the very last, the EP feels like a punk-infused energy drink. It’s hard, it’s fast and it won’t hold back.
“Malfire” sets off the EP, and what a start it is. The intro has such an apocalyptical feeling to it, the lonely electric guitar and the echoing vocals. When the entire band starts, the song really takes off, and it really grabs hold of the listener. The emotions are there, even if they are anger and rage at the system. The vocals to “Born On The Outs” sound a little ’80s new wave infused, and it makes the song so distinct with the hard punk riffs in the background. How can someone not, at least gently, headbang along?
“Organic Organic Organic (Go Fuck Yourself)” has a destructive beat perfectly mixed with vocals and lyrics. The repetition of the lyrics makes it super easy to scream along, which is pretty nice and really gets the audience going. With “Faceless Corporate Violence,” the band is straightforward and calls out capitalism in their very own way. Sometimes it feels like songs that focus on capitalism drift into an almost Rage against the Machine-esque style, which is not the case here, and it’s refreshing. The rage still exists, but with their own touch. The last song on the EP, “Jackals Can’t Be Bothered To Dream,” ends the album like it started, with high energy and a strong message.
The Malignant Fire is pure hate-filled punk. It’s anti-system, and it’s not afraid to show it. The songs hold up the energy all the way, which creates an amazing stimulating atmosphere. Refused are doing their own thing, and it is certainly paying off. The EP definitely is a standout release this year.