Gang of Four, Public Access T.V. | Park West | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Gang of Four

Gang of Four

Gang of Four, Public Access T.V. 

When: Fri., March 13, 8 p.m. 2015
Price: $25
I’m all for artistic evolution, but what’s utterly confounding is why an iconic political postpunk act would ditch its infectious, angular dance-punk—or even its later subdued minimalism—in favor of a sound that’s reminiscent of the corniest faux-industrial music of the 90s. True, Gang of Four retains only one of its original gang members, guitarist Andy Gill (singer Jon King announced his retirement in 2011)—the new crew just isn’t the airtight unit that exploded onto the British punk scene with a snarl in the late 70s. Which is usually the case with bastardized versions of classic bands making new music. I get that. But What Happens Next (Metropolis) reeks of Filter and Stabbing Westward, thanks to the album’s electronic programming, megaphone vocals, and black-eyeliner melancholy of the sort familiar to teenage fans of The Crow. Aside from the two somewhat bluesy rock songs steered by guest vocalist Alison Mosshart of the Kills, the record left me wondering why Till Lindemann from Rammstein didn’t join in for a few rounds of “Ich Will.” Gill and King released two records in the actual 90s that also sound nothing like this, which makes the sonic rebranding that much more confusing. Fans can take some slight solace in the presence of Gill’s signature slicing guitar work, though it’s blanketed in layers of effects. Still, there is the hope that his guitar chops remain sharp and he’s capable of performing cuts from Entertainment! —Erin Osmon
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