Fronted by the force of nature that is Mark Stewart, Bristol’s recently reactivated post-punk radicals the Pop Group began performing live again in 2010, but this is their first album in 35 years.
The Pop Group always subverted formulaic conformity, so it’s heartening to report that Citizen Zombie is not just a nostalgic recycling of their sinewy, polemical, barbed-wire punk-funk sound.
Shot through with dub-jazz dynamics and scouring industrial sonics, these songs are fuller and denser, but as angry and experimental as ever. The snarling, shuddering title track and the metal-bashing groove-attack of The Immaculate Deception nod to fellow travellers PiL and Primal Scream, while the deceptively jaunty dystopian calypso Mad Truth and the twisted slap-bass funk of S.o.p.h.i.a are reminders that this is propulsive party music at heart.
Marred only slightly by a couple of scrappy tunes, the album feels like a life-affirming reminder of anarchist Emma Goldman’s celebrated maxim that the only worthwhile revolution is one you can dance to./o:p