When Bloc Party released their excellent debut, Silent Alarm, back in 2005, it was Gang of Four that critics used to describe the band’s sound and energy. Gang of Four is a band with their roots in UK post punk from the late ’70s. Their first album, Entertainment! found an immediate audience, snagging high ratings and Album of the Year accolades. At their peak, the band had released three albums. But by 1983, their popularity was waning. And while they lost the mass audience, they still appealed to a strong core of fans.
Their last album, What Happens Next, released in 2015. The album is powered by original member, Andy Gill, and none of the others. However, the current band around Gill is still quite effective musically, giving zoom to Andy Gill’s lyrics.
On April 13, Gang of Four will release an EP entitled Complicit. Unfortunately, there is only a lead in single, “Lucky”. To date, and so close to release date, there is no cover art, nor is there a track-list. But there is “Lucky” (hear below).
At some point in 1979, I saw a band at a fun bar in Chicago called Mother’s. Their name was Gang Of Four. With all the hype I had heard, I was pretty excited to see them…especially at this bar where I’ve seen a few breaking bands (Cheap Trick, St Louis Sheiks, etc.). And with The Buzzcocks! Honestly, their live set was pretty great. It’s one of those early embryonic live shows where I was completely in awe of the music happening right in front of me. Since then, I’ve held Gang Of Four pretty close to heart.
These days, Gang of Four is only Andy Gill. Having lost original members, Jon King, Hugo Burnham, and Dave Allen along the way due to various reasons, we’re left with Gill and who sides with him. But the beautiful thing is that his current band is quite strong musically making this edition of Gang Of Four to be quite enjoyable….still!
For proof of that, we could turn to the 2015 release of What Happens Next. That album was as satisfying as many Gang Of Four releases. I attribute that to the strong leadership of Andy Gill. What’s even more exciting is that Gang of Four was a band that was way ahead of its time back in the post-punk era of the late ’70s/early ’80s. So much so that they easily fit into this era of Rock.
On September 9, further proof of their timelessness can be attained within their upcoming Metropolis Records-released DVD/CD, Live…In The Moment. After viewing a segment from that set, it’s easy to see that timelessness as being true (see for yourself below with a 2015 performance of “At Home He’s A Tourist” from Entertainment!)!
Live…In The Moment was recorded live at their Islington Assembly Hall performance in London. The songs on this film are fourteen performance tracks that include “Damaged Goods”, “I Found that Essence Rare”, “Anthrax”, and “At Home He’s A Tourist” from Entertainment! (1979), and “Paralyzed”, “What We All Want”, and “Why Theory?”from Solid Gold (1981). The rest are scattered selections from the other albums.
Live…In The Moment will add in the CD for audio enjoyment of the show as you go out into the world. There will be a vinyl LP released as well, same date.
Even with this edition of Gang Of Four, this band is no joke.
Gang Of Four released their first album, Entertainment! back in 1979 riding the very strong wave of post-punk. they rode the wave until 1983, when the band called it a day. Of course, like any great band, it’s hard to give up the ghost when you were so good, and so influential. Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers called Gang of Four his primary source of influence. Punk influences in Rock, and Funk led the day in the band’s first run releases.
In the ’90s, the band reunited with Andy Gill and Jon King. The original four came back together in the early 2000s. Today, only Andy Gill remains. However, his talent is such that this iteration of Gang Of Four is quite satisfying. and the new band assembled keeps the freshness of Rock and Roll on at full throttle. If you are a Gang Of Four fan, you’ll likely really enjoy what you will hear in the two tracks off What Happens Next provided below.
On February 24 (US), March 2 (UK), Gang Of Four will release their newest album, What Happens Next. There are two streaming tracks from the set available at SoundCloud (see below). Judging by what those two tracks sound like, I’d say easily enough that fans will be treated to some excellent music.
What Happens Next will contain ten new tracks. It will be made available on CD, DD, and vinyl LP.