This is my second review lately of an artist releasing something after a founding member has shuffled off this mortal coil and it’s depressing as fuck because the relevant brilliance in both cases is staggering.
But I digress!
The focus of today’s posthumous release comes to us from Gang Of Four, featuring the recently departed legend Andy Gill. Gill, of course, was a pioneer in Post-Punk who not only shaped the landscape with Gang Of Four but also helped steer the ship with his acclaimed production skills which paved the way for bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Futureheads to break out and helped old school contemporaries like Killing Joke or modern ones like Therapy? redefine their sounds.
Anti Hero is a new EP that further solidifies how impactful Gill’s work was and continues to be with one brand new Gang Of Four jam, two reinvented classics from the band’s illustrious back catalog, and an original by vocalist John Sterry which boldly looks towards a future with the shadow of Gill still ever present.
“Forever Starts Now”, written by Sterry and Gill, is a moving new blast of modern Gang Of Four perfection featuring Sterry’s now-familiar pipes and Gill’s iconic strumming with bassist Thomas McNeice’s throbbing lines humming and bouncing as an antithesis to Tobias Humble’s accented aural attacks from behind the kit. As a final Gang Of Four track, it’s utter perfection.
“Days Turn To Night” is a sprawling electronic hymnal serving as both a tribute to the late Gill and a glimpse of what’s to come from Sterry as he wrote the song several days following Gill’s death. With heavy crooning from Sterry, the track is a futuristic New Wave/Post-Punk mash-up with funked up guitars and an inspiring yet somber look towards the horizon.
A pair of Gang Of Four classics get amped up and modernized to close out the EP beginning with “Change The Locks” featuring an all around hyper-funked groove especially from McNeice’s bass work while “Glass” sounds as legendary and groundbreaking as ever with Sterry’s vocal take on each producing a decidedly refreshed feel.
And ripped from the press release because this sums it up better than I could:
“Everyone who worked on the album provided their services for free. All net receipts received by Gang of Four from sales and streams of the forthcoming EP and associated singles will be donated to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity (Who looked after Andy). Music distributor Republic of Music have also waived their distribution fees for this project, to maximise the income generated for the Charity.”
Anti Hero arrives on July 17th through Republic of Music with stunning cover art by Shepard Fairey. Pre-orders available now which can be purchased by clicking here or here. To follow John Sterry on his solo endeavors and more, head here and here. For the legacy of Gang Of Four, follow the tunes by clicking here or here.