Gang of Four
's existence had as much to do with Slave
as it did the Sex Pistols
and the Stooges
, which is something Solid Gold
demonstrates more than Entertainment!
Any smartypants can point out the irony of a band on Warner Bros. railing against systematic tools of control disguised as entertainment media, but Gang of Four
were more observational than condescending. True, Jon King
and Andy Gill
might have been hooting and hollering in a semiviolent and discordant fashion, but they were saying "think about it" more than "you lot are a bunch of mindless puppets." Abrasiveness was a means to grab the listener, and it worked. Reciting Solid Gold
's lyrics on a local neighborhood corner might get a couple interested souls to pay attention. It isn't poetry, and it's no fun; most within earshot would just continue power-walking or tune out while buffing the SUV. Solid Gold
has that unholy racket going on beneath the lyrics, an unlikely mutation of catchiness and atonality that made ears perk and (oddly) posteriors shake. With its slightly ironic title, Solid Gold
is more rhythmically grounded than the fractured nature of Entertainment!
, a politically charged, more Teutonic take on funk. It's a form of release for paranoid accountants. Financial concerns form the basis of the subject matter; the hilarious but realistic "Cheeseburger" is a highlight with its thinly veiled snipe at America: "No classes in the U.S.A./Improve yourself, the choice is yours/Work at your job and make good pay/Make friends, great/Buy them a beer!" This is a nickel less spectacular than the debut, but owning one and not the other would be criminal.