The Shape of Punk to Come
The Shape of Punk to Come
Studio album by Refused
Released April 13, 1998
Recorded Late 1997 at Tonteknik Bomba Je studios
Genre Hardcore punk, post-hardcore, experimental rock, art punk
Length 55:11
Label Burning Heart
Producer Eskil Lövström, Andreas Nilsson, Pelle Henricsson, Refused
Refused chronology
The Demo Compilation
The Shape of Punk to Come
 Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic Star fullStar fullStar fullStar fullStar half[1]
BBC Music favourable[2]
Consequence of Sound Star fullStar fullStar fullStar fullStar full[3]
Drowned in Sound 10/10[4]
Kerrang! Star fullStar fullStar fullStar fullStar full
Pitchfork Media 9.4/10[5] Star fullStar fullStar fullStar fullStar full[6]
Robert Christgau Rating-Christgau[7]
Rock Sound 10/10[8]
Sputnikmusic Star fullStar fullStar fullStar fullStar full[9]

The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts, often shortened to The Shape of Punk to Come, is the third album by Swedish hardcore punk band Refused, released in October 1998 through Burning Heart Records.

Although Refused broke up only months after the album's release, The Shape of Punk to Come has since found an audience for the band and largely contributed to their posthumous fame, as well as inspiring many later artists in a wide range of genres.[10][11] Kerrang! magazine listed The Shape of Punk to Come at #13 on their 50 Most Influential Albums of All Time list in 2003.


This album marked a sharp and conscious departure from Refused's earlier work. The philosophy of the album, expounded in the ample liner notes and encapsulated in the song "New Noise", was that punk and hardcore music could not be anti-establishment by continuing to package revolutionary lyrics in sounds which had been increasingly co-opted into the mainstream. The sound of the record challenged existing punk sensibilities; it can be seen as "punk" at a fundamental level and includes experimental combinations of post-hardcore, post-punk, techno, and jazz sounds. The album reveals musical differences to pop punk bands such as Green Day and Blink-182, and also to even more traditional punk rock bands such as Bad Religion and Pennywise.

The album also includes "political interludes" between some songs. The use of more technological sounds or drum and bass music, particularly on The New Noise Theology E.P. which followed the album, is a tactic that various members of Refused have credited to the influence of Philadelphia punk band Ink & Dagger.

Samples and "borrowed" materialEdit

  • The song title Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull is an allusion to a line from Allen Ginsberg's long poem "Howl".
  • The Deadly Rhythm features a musical quotation of Bo Diddley's 1959 R&B song I'm a Man.
  • The break in New Noise samples Col. Kurtz's famous monologue from the 1979 Vietnam war film Apocalypse Now.
  • Tannhäuser / Derivè includes a reference to the theme The Augurs of Spring: Dances of the Young Girls from Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.
  • The spoken text at the start of Protest Song '68 comes from the opening of the Henry Miller novel Tropic of Cancer.
  • The album's title The Shape of Punk to Come and the song of the same name are a reference to Ornette Coleman's 1959 avant-garde jazz album The Shape of Jazz to Come.[5]
  • The cover artwork is taken from the cover of Teenage Dance Session by Rye Coalition, which is of itself a copy of an earlier album cover.
  • The title of the song Refused are Fucking Dead is a reference to the Born Against song Born Against are Fucking Dead.

2004 ReissueEdit

In 2004, a DVD-Audio version of the album was released, remixed in 5.1-channel Surround Sound. Many of the songs were compositionally altered, some significantly. "Bruitist Pome #5," for example, was thoroughly reworked, while a seven-minute version of "Refused Are Fuckin Dead" jarringly transitions into a new second half, which incorporates elements of the Bombe Je Remix of the song. Other songs received new intros or outros.


In 2003, Kerrang! magazine listed The Shape of Punk to Come at #13 on their 50 Most Influential Albums of All Time list. In 2005, The Shape of Punk to Come was ranked number 428 in Rock Hard magazine's book The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[12]

Track listingEdit

  1. "Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull" – 7:05
  2. "Liberation Frequency" – 4:08
  3. "The Deadly Rhythm" – 3:34
  4. "Summerholidays vs. Punkroutine" – 4:01
  5. "Bruitist Pome #5" – 1:25
  6. "New Noise" – 5:08
  7. "The Refused Party Program" – 2:38
  8. "Protest Song '68" – 4:32
  9. "Refused Are Fuckin Dead" – 5:08
  10. "The Shape of Punk to Come" – 5:06
  11. "Tannhäuser / Derivè" – 8:07
  12. "The Apollo Programme Was a Hoax" – 4:13

2010 ReissueEdit

In addition to the 12 tracks of the original release, the 2010 reissue, released as a deluxe edition, also included previously unreleased live recordings from a 1998 concert and a DVD of the documentary on the band, Refused Are Fucking Dead.[11]

Disc 2: Live at Umeå Open festival (April 3, 1998)Edit

  1. "The Shape of Punk to Come" – 4:38
  2. "The Refused Party Program" – 1:28
  3. "Circle Pit" – 2:48
  4. "Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull" – 5:31
  5. "Hook, Line and Sinker" – 2:51
  6. "Summerholidays vs. Punkroutine" – 3:54
  7. "Rather Be Dead" – 3:42
  8. "Burn It" – 2:33
  9. "The Deadly Rhythm" – 4:05
  10. "Coup d'Ètat" – 5:10
  11. "New Noise" – 4:48
  12. "Tannhäuser" – 7:30

Disc 3: Refused Are Fucking Dead DVDEdit


The Shape of Punk to Come personnel as listed in the album liner notes.[13]


Additional musiciansEdit


  • Eskil Lövström, Pelle Henricsson, Refused – recording, production, mixing, mastering
  • Andreas Nilsson – sound technician, recording, production, mixing, mastering

Art and designEdit

  • Dennis Lyxzén – art direction, layout
  • José – layout
  • David Sandström – photo collage
  • Ulf Nyberg – Refused photos
  • Axel Stattin – back cover photo


  1. Butler, Blake (Oct. 27, 1998). The Shape of Punk to Come - Refused. AllMusic.
  2. Music - Review of Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come - Deluxe Edition. BBC.
  3. Consequence of Sound. Consequence of Sound.
  4. Stephen, Paul (June 1, 2010). Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come (Special Edition) / Releases / Releases // Drowned In Sound.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Breihan, Tom (June 9, 2010). Refused: The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts [Deluxe Edition] | Album Reviews. Pitchfork.
  6. Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come.
  7. Christgau, Robert. CG: Refused.
  8. Ben Patashnik (June 2010). "Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come". Rock Sound (136): 88.
  9. Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come (album review). Sputnikmusic.
  10. Refused: New Noise Spawns Nu Shame. Exclaim! (Feb 2000).
  11. 11.0 11.1 Refused's 'The Shape Of Punk To Come' To Be Released As A Deluxe Edition. Roadrunner (April 7, 2010).
  12. [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 39. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.
  13. Template:Cite AV media notes


Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.