This story is over 5 years old.


Do Refused Have What It Takes to Become the Next Nickelback?

Punk Dad Rock or Wal-Mart Dad Rock is still Dad Rock.

Image: Dustin Rabin

Earlier this week hardcore punk heroes Refused announced that they are set to release Freedom, their first album in 17-years. And yesterday radio broadcaster triple j revealed that the enigmatic Swedes were keen to return to Australia. Speaking to the station's Richard Kingsmill for an upcoming interview, vocalist Dennis Lyxzén said that a tour could come about early next year. This quickly led to rumours of the band appearing on the 2016 Sound Wave lineup.


This is exciting news for Australian fans but what interested us is the band’s current press shot. A photograph that includes a lot of navy, muted blues, chambray and beards. One that has more than a hint of hipster-Scando-Dad rock.

Another four piece partial to navy, denim, facial hair and giving shout outs to the Dads are the much-maligned Nickelback. The Canadian band, who are touring Australia in May, have never been (or never will be) as cool as Refused but it seem that there are growing similarites between the two bands that go beyond them coming from ice hockey loving nations.

Back in the late 90s you'd be hard pressed to find a cooler band than Refused. Four handsome guys from Umea, whose influential 1998 album,The Shape of Punk to Come was a reference to a Nation of Ulysses album which itself was named after Ornette Coleman’s 1959 avant garde jazz masterpiece, The Shape of Jazz to Come. Of course they broke up months after the album’s release. Refused were the James Dean of punk.

Nickelback are from Hanna, Alberta. They have and always will be a non-steaming pile of uncool.

But in 2015 it seems things are starting to even out.

Check Refused’s new video for “Elektra”, a track from the forthcoming album .

Whether at a stadium show in Melbourne, Toronto or Stockholm, you just know that when that guitar kicks in you and your bros are going to lose your shit and rock out hard. Soooo hard!


This hard.

Refused’s last album was called The Shape of Punk to Come. Full of youthful ambition and brash energy it was as much a statement and call to action as it was an album title. The new album is called Freedom. Spotify Subscription and Wilco were both unavailable.

Freedom was produced by Nick Launay who has worked with some of the kings and queens of Dad rock including Arcade Fire, Kate Bush and Nick Cave.

So Nickeback cop a lot of hate. But not everyone can be a Dad.

We believe that there is strong reason for a Refused and Nickelback collaboration of some sort. Maybe a dual international tour or a Chad Kroeger/Dennis Lyxzén split 7'. Imagine the Swede's covering "Someday" and Nickelback reinterrepting "Liberation Frequency" for a special International Record Store Day release next year!

Catch Nicelback in Australia this May:
May 15 - Melbourne at Rod Laver Arena
May 16 - Melbourne at Rod Laver Arena
May 18 - Adelaide at Entertainment Centre
May 22 - Sydney at Allphones Arena
May 23 - Newcastle at Entertainment Centre
May 24 - Perth at Perth Arena

Refused’s ’Freedom’ is scheduled for a June 30 release via Epitaph.