Gang of Four

Post-punk powerhouse Gang of Four this week announced it will release Content — its first all-new studio album in more than 15 years — early next year on CD, vinyl and as part of an “Ultimate Content Can” that includes lyrics, artwork, a scratch-and-sniff booklet and “vials of band members’ blood.”

The new album — written by co-founders Jon King and Andy Gill, and produced and recorded by Gill — is due Jan. 25 on Yep Roc Records and will feature tracks such as “Who Am I?,” “You Don’t Have to Be Mad,” “I Can’t Forget Your Lonely Face” and “I Party All the Time,” although the band hasn’t yet released a full tracklist.

In a news release announcing the album, King, the band’s lead vocalist, said:

“What I’ve been thrilled by over the years is that our music still seems to make sense to our audiences, however old they are, and these days they’re mostly under 30. They tell us that our music means something, that it makes them want to go start a band. That amazes me. I would never have imagined when we started off that we would have this impact after such a long time.”

Funded by fans through, the album — also featuring bassist Thomas McNeice and drummer Mark Heaney — is Gang of Four’s first since 1995’s Shrinkwrapped. In addition to the blood, the “Ultimate Content Can”  features the CD, plus “a book version of an art piece Jon and Andy have done on ceramic tiles depicting the last 40 years of world history, a book of lyrics, a book of Rotoscoped photographs of the band’s emotions … and a scratch and sniff booklet which reflects the key areas of human activity.”

The band — which reunited in 2004 and released Return the Gift, a collection of re-recorded classics, in 2005 before original members Hugo Burnham and Dave Allen quit — hasn’t elaborated on the whole blood thing. Is it from one of the two remaining original members, or just the latter-day rhythm section? Does it come refrigerated? Is it suitable for transfusion? So many questions, so few answers.



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