By Nicole Cifani | January 27th, 2011
The latest album from Gang of Four, the iconic English post-punk group from Leeds, has been in the making for a while — Content is their first album of all-new material in sixteen years.
Known for their punchy, funked-up bass lines, distorted guitar, and hooky, shouty vocals lamenting social and political ills, 1979’s classic release Entertainment! has been cited as a trailblazer by many — a must-have recording that inspired bands from Fugazi to Rage Against the Machine to Nirvana.
While many groups have attempted to replicate Gang of Four’s exceptionally distinct sound, few have come close. As one of the leading bands of the late 70s and early 80s post-punk movement in Britain, they’ve been referenced recently in the emergence of the dance punk, synth-sprinkled crossover genre that birthed the likes of The Rapture, !!!, Bloc Party, and Radio 4.
Content is a groovy, kinetic piece of work that takes the listener on a journey from the arresting (“Who Am I?”) to the sublime. It calls to mind the original influence derived by the bands’ many imitators (evident in the drum and bass interplay on the downbeat track “A Fruitfly in the Beehive”). Diverse and brilliantly produced, the album opens with the powerful track “She Said” — a jump-starter that invokes fire in what’s to come.