Gang of Four 

Return the Gift

Franz Ferdinand fans mystified by the loud contempt Gang of Four devotees still harbor should proceed directly to Return the Gift. The album, a rerecording of Go4's most identifiable early tunes, finds the antisentimental Brits outplaying not only the current bands who've borrowed their sound, but also themselves. Compared to the circa-1980 originals, these versions are harder, tighter, and more fun, from the squall of "Anthrax" to the slick "I Love a Man in a Uniform." Musical aptitude, however, does have its drawbacks, especially when it comes to a band known for inspired experimentation. Whereas Andy Gill's guitar was once a wild and woolly thing even by punk standards, its tone is now tamer, its stabbing angles more precise. And while the P-Funk the band always claimed as an influence shows through these ragged grooves like never before, it also makes an info-overload anthem like "At Home He's a Tourist" more evocative of the dancefloor than the factory, easing the stomach-churning inertia that made the original so weird. Nevertheless, everything missing from the Gang's various imitators is intact here -- originality and actual content, for example.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in CD Reviews

Author Archives

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

The Beer Issue 2020

The Decade in Review

The events and trends that shaped the Teens.

Best of the East Bay

2020

© 2020 Telegraph Media    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation