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Impressive Comeback From Punk-Funk Icons
Olaf Tyaransen, 01 Feb 2011
Although Gang Of Four’s founding members, singer Jon King and guitarist Andy Gill, have reunited twice before – most recently for a scattering of live dates in 2004 - it’s been almost sixteen years since the hugely influential Leeds post-punk band released an album of new songs. Thankfully, for the most part Content (which they were reportedly originally planning on titling Cock Cunt) proves well worth the wait.
Very much a return to feisty form, they haven’t changed their basic template much from their early days. GOF’s signature mixture of socially conscious lyrics and choppy guitars influenced everyone from Franz Ferdinand to the Chili Peppers, and these ten short songs are reminiscent of their first few albums – featuring great danceable guitar riffs, shockingly direct lyrics about consumerism, apathy and political resistance, and little of the synths and samplers they ill-advisedly introduced to their sound in the ‘90s (though ‘I Was Never Gonna Turn Out Too Good’ is a sci-fi duet between King and a Vocodered robot voice).
As always, they’re lyrically on the money. The angry and chaotic ‘You’ll Never Pay For The Farm’ takes a cold look at a world in which most people will never manage to pay off their mortgages: “You’ll never pay for the farm/Someone should raise the alarm.”
Easily their finest record since the late-’70s, Content won’t disappoint veteran GOF fans – and may well earn them some new ones. Though perhaps a better title might have been Malcontent.