Make no mistake, this ain’t your father’s Gang Of Four. Gone is original vocalist Jon King, replaced with John Sterry whose sexy swagger immediately sets the tone on What Happens Next opener “Where The Nightingale Sings” enticing listeners into the world of Gang Of Four 2.0.
What Happens Next, their first with Sterry, marks new territory for the band as evidenced by the aforementioned track. Filled with bleeps and boops and soft electronic ambiance, “Where The Nightingale Sings” is a far cry from the guitar/bass-centric electrified energy of Entertainment! But remember kiddies, change is good! Plus, with founder/guitarist Andy Gill still steering the ship, do you really need to worry?
What Gill and co. have managed to craft here is indeed what happens next. If 2005’s Return The Gift was a significant update of their sound then What Happens Next is that vision fully realized. For purists, though, “Broken Talk” still has that old school groove down and features The Kills’ Alison Mosshart while “Isle Of Dogs” ramps up the low end bass line that’s become synonymous with Gang Of Four.
“The Dying Rays”, however, really changes the mood as it treads Massive Attack 100th Window territory with its’ pulsating electronics and hypnotic beat. “Obey The Ghost” follows that trip-hop trend until bringing it back together for a mix of synthetics interspersed with screaming guitars on “First World Citizen”. Also featuring Robbie Furze of The Big Pink, Gail Anne Dorsey, Hotei, and Herbert Gronemeyer, What Happens Next has something for every kind of Gang Of Four fan offering enough musical diversity to secure new followers and still keep mainstays happy.
What Happens Next is out through the always impressive Metropolis Records on February 24th. Head on over here to pre-order yours and then head here to find out where you can catch Gang Of Four on their upcoming tour.