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Gang Of Four: Back To The Best And Brightest

It could be diet and exercise, but one way or another, post-punk's best and brightest are still kicking and screaming like it's 1979. Wire still plays strong and simple, The Fall just released a new album, and even Public Image Ltd plays live once in a while. So it's only appropriate that Gang of Four would get back into the game with a new record, Content.

The band is no stranger to comebacks. Most fans gloss over Gang of Four's forgettable first attempt, but the band is smart enough to do the same in the excellent "Never Pay for the Farm." The thin bass and jagged dance rhythms sound far closer to the blueprint laid out on Entertainment!, Gang of Four's iconic debut album.

For almost four minutes, "Never Pay for the Farm" burns on nothing but a rough groove. The shrill guitar leads make a mess all over the mix, even sounding like a short-circuiting microwave at times. To finish things off, frontman Jon King loads his lyrics with politics, making it clear that buying doesn't always mean keeping. Gang of Four doesn't reinvent anything in "Never Pay for the Farm," but its members are having a blast with their second lease on life.

This story originally ran on Nov. 15, 2010.

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Anthony Fantano