Gang Of Four
Guy Lochhead, 03/03/12
Pioneering Leeds post-punk group whose spiky guitar and shouted obtuse, politically-concerned lyrics paved the way for alt-rock bands in every decade since. Their first album, Entertainment!, is widely considered to be one of the best alternative rock albums ever made. I keep trying to get into Gang Of Four but something about them puts me off. I recognise the significance of their contribution to pop music, post punk, but they’re often touted as a deeply political group, which I take some exception to. For me, good political music doesn’t cloak its politics in arty half-sentences and extended metaphor. To generalise horribly, I feel like “political music” should make its lyrics as accessible as possible – especially if the music can be jarring. Gang Of Four’s lyrics sometimes read like art student notebook entries, and that gets in the way of their meaning and my appreciation of them. I would always choose Fugazi (who acknowledge GoF’s influence) over this group.

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