HEY! Get updates to this and the CD and 7" blogs via Twitter: @VinylUnderbite

19 October 2015

Gang of Four (Warner Bros.)

This EP came out between the first two Gang of Four records, though I always thought it predated Entertainment! for some reason. It's actually a step between the punchy, dancy iconic classic that is the aforementioned debut LP and the slightly less fun Solid Gold. I know this was supposed to be about revolution but "fun" is what I keep going back to, what's missing here. Yes, I want my Marxist disco to have some joy behind it! I understand the struggle was important to these guys (or at least they were very convincing) but 'Outside the Trains Don't Run on Time' is just a chore. I guess the terrifying reality of Thatcher's policies weren't anything to laugh about, but 'Armalite Rifle' manages at least to include some irony. If you've ever seen Urgh! A Music War (and you really, really should) then you'll know that *thwack!* sound at the beginning of 'He'd Send in the Army' is Jon King hitting the back of a chair. It seems menacing and powerful in that film, but on record it just sounds like something stuck to the needle. I'm not being kind to these songs, though I'd never part with this record. And they used to hang out with the Mekons so they get an eternal pass from me.

No comments:

Post a Comment