May 6, 2004

Test Spin: Gang of Four

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Hailing from Leeds University, the legendary punk band Gang of Four has been getting increased attention now that dance fervor and punk vitality are being thrown together in ever more ambitious bands. But Gang of Four has them all beat. This re-issue slaps together one of the band’s finest albums, 1981’s Solid Gold, and 1982’s somewhat unnecessary Another Day/Another Dollar EP. Solid Gold is one of the rare albums that establishes the blueprint, while surpassing anything that derived from it. Rebounding, furry guitars get throttled under a beat The Meters would have been proud of. Its incredibly tight arrangements always permit a little flotsam and feedback to float off the top, leaving their sound loose, frantic, and stirring. Oh, and as if you needed anymore incentive, Gang of Four is one of the most Marxist regimes to ever be signed to a major label: almost every song tirelessly derides capitalism and consumerist hegemony. Another Day is a little less rewarding, but it nevertheless slams psych-era guitar wankery into apocalypse-fuls of skranking funk-static.

Archived article by Alex Linhardt
Red Letter Daze Staff Writer