Great Men

Gang of Four return, and all pretenders should watch their arses

So the sound is relevant--and the content, too, more than ever. Those who long ago marginalized Gang of Four as Marxist-Situationist-Propagandist rockers--that is, Sex Pistols who actually stood for something other than themselves--made the band out to be dour proselytizers, politico punks out to convert the yoof of England and elsewhere. But theirs was a brand of personal politics, not just some riffs cribbed from a little red book. They didn't tell you what to think, but demanded only that you give a shit and played loud enough so you couldn't ignore them. They wrote hate songs about love songs, they wrote lyrics that equivocated fucking to a business transaction, they wrote about patronizing men who condescended to "housewife heroines," they wrote of mail-order promises delivered C.O.D. And, as a result, they spawned more term papers than any other punk band to hail from Leeds University circa 1977.

"We're not a political band," Allen says, "but having said that, we clearly had a fucking awful lot to say about the state of what we felt was some state of emergency, where it was like, 'People, listen up! Things are not good!' We weren't advocating some kind of anarchistic revolution. We're just saying you have a choice. And when you realize you have a choice, it often makes it easy to be the guy or the woman who just wants to go and work at the bank, who says, 'I choose to do this.' Do you want to improve your lot, or do you want to merely stop complaining about it? And it's a tough choice to make. It was then, and it is now. It really is."

Disappointed that Gang of Four's new album is full of rerecorded hits? You shouldn't be. "We know what we're good at, and we're not going to deliver you crap," bassist Dave Allen (far right) says.
Disappointed that Gang of Four's new album is full of rerecorded hits? You shouldn't be. "We know what we're good at, and we're not going to deliver you crap," bassist Dave Allen (far right) says.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
 
Dallas Concert Tickets

Concert Calendar

  • December
  • Mon
    22
  • Tue
    23
  • Wed
    24
  • Thu
    25
  • Fri
    26
  • Sat
    27
  • Sun
    28
Loading...