Gang of Four – Content

January 01, 1970

(Yep Roc)

 

www.yeproc.com

 

Iconic, politically strident post-punk entity Gang of Four
reformed in 2004, then revamped its rhythm section after making waves at All
Tomorrow’s Parties in ‘06. Content,
its first original full-length since this third (in its history) resurfacing, is
raising antennae in many circles (GOF has been cited for influencing a plethora
of musicians including The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Fugazi). It
certainly evidences the courage demanded of the band’s original members (Andy
Gill/guitar; Jon King/vox) when pumping out anything new: Comparisons with the
brilliance of their’79 opus, Entertainment,
are inevitable. Those enamored of the somewhat less angst-riddled but still
ferocious tracks characterized by Songs
of the Free
(’82), may also arrive with expectations.

 

Gill’s scatter-shot guitar, replete with his signature
echoes and cascading dissolves, is as intuitively employed as ever on Content. Likewise, King’s vocals carry nearly
the urgency of those transmitting GOF’s most effective material. The lyrics handily
weave the rhyming and assonance used in much popular and rock music with the socio-politically
observant turns for which King and Gill are known. For anyone who was “there” (1977-‘83),
listening to the new album could be somewhat disorienting. The startling originality
of feedback peels and kinetic beats that threw the band into the spotlight feels
simultaneously retro and fresh on tracks like “YouDon’t Have to Be Mad” and
“Never Pay for the Farm.” Lovers of seminal GOF like “I Love a Man in a
Uniform” can get a fix with “I Can’t Forget Your Lonely Face,” “I Party All the
Time,” and “You Don’t Have to be Mad.”

 

Content is a
solid, respectable comeback. As if to make up for not being able to reverse
time/recreate the conditions and environment that fostered battle cries like “Damaged
Goods” and “I Found That Essence Rare,” GOF is including “a vial of ‘Gang of
Four’ blood” with the Deluxe Can edition of the album. What punk – aging or
otherwise – could scream for more?

 

DOWNLOAD: “She
Said,” “Who Am I,” “You Don’t Have to be Mad,” “I Party All the Time” MARY
LEARY

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