Pioneering post-punk band, the Gang of Four were formed by guitarist Andy Gill in the bricolage punk rock fallout culture of late seventies Leeds – a place where art was a mirror and guitars were machine guns. They redesigned rock in the punk aftermath, creating new stripped-down music that was full of energy, heavy grooves, shrapnel guitars and politically charged lyrics matching the harshness of the times.
Gang of Four bounced around the music business releasing a series of albums including 1979’s universally lauded ‘Entertainment’ (which celebrates its 40th birthday in 2019) and they have been a direct inspiration to a diverse selection of artists, from Nirvana to Massive Attack, Franz Ferdinand to St Vincent, Sleater-Kinney and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem to Nine Inch Nails and IDLES, today’s leading creators have GO4’s influence and imprint all over them. The band is also reaching an urban audience with Frank Ocean sampling them on his latest album and Pharrell name-checking the band in his interviews.
The upcoming album ‘Happy Now’ is the perfect synthesis between a modern take on the classic GO4 sound — a pop touch with those timeless angular guitar lines and fractured rhythms — with a fast forward vision. It’s this combination of electronics and the jagged guitar lines pursuing 21st century grooves that achieves a striking balance between the band’s fundamental sound and its restless embrace of the now and the new. Exemplified by the first single – the pulsating 6 Music championed ‘Paper Thin’ – the result is a body of anthemic songs of modern confusion, and ‘Happy Now’ a record for our times.
Listen to ‘Paper Thin’ – BELOW:
The 2019 Gang of Four are glorious. They sound enormous. They are exciting and have more than a whiff of danger and revolution about them. Gill radiates intensity and still plays the guitar like it’s sparking with electricity, and his band of young droogs add a youthful exuberance and energy that electrifies the songs and makes Gang of Four a thrilling exercise in reinvention.
Gang of Four’s new single ‘Paper Thin’ is released through AWAL from 18 January 2019 and is available on all major streaming platforms.
The new studio album‘Happy Now’ is released on 29 March 2019 and is available now on pre-order in all formats from Pledge
Gang of Four play London’s Borderline on Friday 12 April.