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Gang of Four: Content

Submitted by Commandrea on February 28, 2011 – 6:44 pmNo Comment
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By Jack Daniel Betz
It’s been over ten years since post-punk pioneers Gang of Four released their last studio album “Shrink Wrapped” in 1995. Known mostly for their funky and critically acclaimed LP “Entertainment” the band has since replaced their original bassist and drummer and opted for a slower, less funk-driven approach.

On “Content” the talents of guitarist Andy Gil and vocalist Jon King still shine are as brilliantly as ever but the tempo has slowed and there is less emphasis on Entertainment-era basslines. The brunt of the musical weight is carried by Gil’s muddy but brilliant guitar work. For the most part, fans will be pleased as long as they account for the band’s new, more reflective style. Gone is the crazed disco beat that has long characterized the band and in its place is a more introspective and desolate groove that still seems to suit the band’s impressive history.

There are echoes of the funky, 80s GoF on tracks like “Who Am I?” and “I Party All the Time” but for the most part the band has opted for a more experimental approach. The band’s disdain for authority and their constant skepticism still dominate the lyrics. The band has not “sold out” or become “corporate” as whiny little teens would phrase it. They’re playing with the band’s sound and they haven’t become any less rebellious or thought-provoking because of that.

Hardcore GoF fans should pick this up but fare-weather fans might balk. As a faithful admirer of Gang of Four, I give this record a strong B+. Also look out for tracks “Do as I say” and “I can see from far away”. Still golden.

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