Highly influential, Gang of Four have released a new EP, Complicit. Co-produced by the band’s Andy Gill, alongside Ben Hillier (Blur, Depeche Mode) and Ross Orton (M.I.A., Arctic Monkeys), the EP includes previous singles Lucky and Ivanka (Things You Can’t Have), with artwork that captures the President’s daughter alongside the Russian word for complicit.
Arriving ahead of a new studio album due Summer 2018, Complicit follows a period during which Gang of Four have been referenced by everyone from St Vincent to Frank Ocean and James Murphy to Pharrell Williams. Lead single Lucky is instantly identifiable by Gill’s serrated guitar, with frontman Gaoler’s ‘Gang of Four Everyman’ protagonist alternately piteous and self-aggrandising, freighted by a taut groove from Thomas McNiece and Tobias Humble’s rhythm section.
On Ivanka (Things You Can’t Have), Gang of Four consider not only the poisonous invective of the White House, but the ways in which news stories are pollinated. Talking about the track – which weaves into its lyrics quotes from Ivanka and her father – Gill says;
“It would’ve been easy to be extremely damning about Donald Trump and of course, like everyone else, I could have called him all kinds of names. What drew me to this subject at all was the running commentary from Ivanka in the earlier stages of this administration – it was fascinating to get a kind of explanation or justification from the daughter who had already been given an official position within the White House. And frankly, a lot of it was pretty funny. But although the characters in the Trump family are interesting, it’s more the ideologies and politics which they represent and enable which need describing.”
A need to constantly distinguish fact from falsehood also proliferates new track I’m A Liar. Gill says;
“Time passes, history moves on, the story moves on and the story will be told. And the Gang of Four tell it. Personal history and the story of the world around us. The world and its people are more fragmented and disintegrated than ever, but powerful arguments rage across social media. Like many of the songs ‘I’m A Liar’ wonders how we are supposed to differentiate between truth and un-truth. And when we tell the truth it’s denied: because everyone knows everything is made up.”