It's not like they didn't warn us. No, Gang of Four spelled it out very clearly on their debut album, 1979’s Entertainment, which direction they saw our consumer culture heading. The rising influence of multi-national corporations on our daily lives. The increasing cult of celebrity. The vast inequality of consumerism. Brand obsession as corporate control. Pretty prophetic for a bunch of disillusioned students from Leeds.
On the cover of Gang of Four's new album, Content, -- their 9th full-length and first of all new material since 1995 -- lies a strange, rectangular object... shiny, metallic, modern. Could be the latest entertainment device (a sleek laptop or future X-Box). Or it could be a bomb. After listening to the record, it appears to be both. Entertaining, scintillating and dangerous, the band has lost none of its explosive edge over the years. Jon King has not quieted his full-throated howl and Andy Gill's guitar is as razor sharp as ever, combining to create GOF's patented gut wrenching funk.
Lyrically, Gang of Four covers many of the same themes on Content as they have done throughout their career -- government oppression, sexual politics, unbridled capitalism -- but may have picked up a few new targets in recent years... as on "Who Am I", which could be referencing either the Big Brother-ish encroachment of online marketing or the inherent narcissism of social networking ("who am i/when everything is me"). Let's hope they're around in another 30 years to again remind us all we're not just paranoid.
-- Dan Wilcox, KCRW Music Host
Content will be available to stream on demand from January 17 to Fubruary 15, 2011.
Artist website: http://www.gangoffour.co.uk
1. She Said ‘You Made A Thing Of Me’
2. You Don't Have To Be Mad
3. Who Am I?
4. I Can't Forget Your Lonely Face
5. You'll Never Pay For The Farm
6. I Party All The Time
7. A Fruitfly In The Beehive
8. It Was Never Gonna Turn Out Too Good
9. Do As I Say
10. I Can See From Far Away