Caffiends Fission, Fusion and Things Made of Concrete

Well it seems a certain Southern California punk band has been studying the Refused’s brilliant, groundbreaking The Shape of Punk to Come. On their third disc, the Caffiends take almost every element of that 1998 landmark accomplishment and re-imagine it. The complicated musical arrangements, the noodly instrumental bits, the wailing hardcore wallop and the album art all seem extremely familiar. But before you start thinking rip-off, be aware that the Caffiends do enough with the basic template to keep the record from becoming an American remake of a Swedish classic. Hell, it takes a certain amount of talent just to be able to come close to doing what the Refused did, so for that reason alone they deserve points. But by incorporating a little more straight-ahead hardcore and some laid-back George Benson-like jazz, Fission stands on its own merits. (Indianola)