Gang of Four: Album Preview

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Gang of Four’s latest album “Content” is streaming in its entirety as part of KCRW’s Album Preview series.

From KCRW DJ Gary Calamar:

“Back in the day (late 80’s) I used to manage an overly talented but highly underrated band called The Balancing Act. We had released a few albums on IRS Records. The band was doing pretty well back when college radio was king. When we started to think about the third album we decided we wanted to fine tune our sound and find a great producer. The plan was to reach out to our very favorite musicians whose music and sound we love, to produce the new album. We shot for the moon.

At the very top of the short list was Andy Gill from the Gang of Four. We loved The Gang’s signature sound, in your face but refined and smart.  The band was known for their revolutionary style of punk rock, which incorporates elements of funk, reggae and even disco punctuated by political, provocative lyrics.

Gang of Four were unconventional and entirely original for their time and have since set the standard for the entire post-punk genre.

We wrote a gushing fan letter to Andy wondering if he would ever even see it. A couple of weeks later I received a phone call from none other than Andy Gill….Andy Freaking Gill calling my telephone. He would like to do it!

It was hard to believe. Outside of a bizarre incident concerning his back molar and an order of chili verde, everything went great and Andy did an amazing job producing the Balancing Act’s 3rd release CURTAINS.

Cut to 2011.

content_The new Gang Of Four album, CONTENT (or is it CONTENT ?), was written, recorded and produced by founding members Jon King and Andy Gill and it kicks – very modern, but still retaining the sonic and lyrical qualities that made them so unique.

It’s been 16 years since Gang Of Four’s last album of original material. It was nice to hear their influence pop up in bands like Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand, but it is clear from the first jagged guitar chord of CONTENT that this is the real thing.

CONTENT continues King and Gill’s mission to mix complex ideas into powerful songs that are both provocative and simply thrilling. New tracks like “Fruitfly In The Beehive,” “I Party All The Time,” “Who Am I” and “She Said You Made A Thing of Me” evoke a punk rock snarl that makes you dance and sweat, just as much as they make you think.

I am very Content about the Content in Content. There I said it.”

Hear it online here.

Gary Calamar