Gang of Four Return the Gift

Besides maybe Wire, no band from the original post-punk era has amassed as many followers as Gang of Four. The recent reissue of their landmark Entertainment! made complete sense, however, Return the Gift is a little puzzling. Instead of heading into the studio to lay down some new tracks, the original line-up of the band decided to re-record their finest moments. The apparent purpose is to return as a new band and revisit the originals with a freshness that captures their live sound. This approach works impeccably here: "Damaged Goods” contains more of a bang, "I Love a Man in Uniform” is electrifyingly funked-up and "He’d Send in the Army” is much more radical than it was in 1981. However, all of this work feels a little vain. As a single disc this is hardly anything to be excited about, which is why the second disc of remixes is requisite. Filled with a number of artists heavily in debt to Go4, it’s the next best thing to a new full-length from the band. While not all tracks succeed (Hot Hot Heat butcher "Damaged Goods”), the majority show how flexible the band are for such a thing. Paul Epworth’s mix of "Not Great Men” boosts the bass and adds a heftier beat for glowing results, while Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Rakes do the best work here by having a little fun and adding their own voices into the mix. Hell, even the Dandy Warhols don’t fuck it up. The remixes should be the primary focus here, and as a double (V2)