The departure of singer Jon King, who quit after 2011’s Content, could easily have been a fatal blow to the on-off career of Gang Of Four. But fellow songwriter and founder member Andy Gill has pressed on regardless, the guitarist enlisting a ruck of hired help that includes The Kills’ Alison Mosshart, Bowie bassist Gail Ann Dorsey and Japanese guitar lord Hotei.
It’s to Gill’s credit that the band have retained their venom, spitting out terse rhythms and thick squirts of electronica. And while the line-up may be slightly less familiar, his lyrical concerns remain in place: national and cultural identity, global citizenship, how to survive a growing tide of info-technology.
Neither Where The Nightingale Sings nor England’s In My Bones offer a particularly flattering view of Gill’s homeland, while the pounding industrial rock of Dead Souls suggests that apathy is the real enemy. What happens next? This, that’s what./o:p