Gang of Four set the bar for post punk slash, funk, and clang with their situationist rebel music related to Marxist cultural criticism. Their music remains incredibly fresh and totally relevant. This is the record to buy for your intro to the Gang of Four because some proceeds for this actually go to the band. They are dead serious about their work and maybe only smile with the sly smile of those that get away with something profoundly artistic. Wire songs over the years have taken many forms and could be called art-punk post-modern. To me this recording almost resembles a live album. The sound is full, rich and clear. The version of “I Love A Man In Uniform” seems even more danceable and funky now. “To Hell With Poverty” gains a bit in its ferocity. “Damaged Goods” still sounds as good as ever especially when the drums first come in like machine gun fire and Dave Allen’s bass seems even more powerful. “Ether” still sounds like the final warning, so cool and urgent as frontman Jon King and guitarist Andy Gill sing about the “dirt behind the daydream” and “white noise in a white room”. Brilliant.
This album is absolutely essential.
Stay tuned. In late February I will be interviewing bassist Dave Allen of Gang of Four and Pampelmoose.