Gang of Four's 'Anti Hero' EP Is a Fitting Farewell to Andy Gill

BY Spencer Nafekh-BlanchettePublished Jul 14, 2020

A lot can happen to a band whose history spans 10 albums and over 40 years. With a handful of brief hiatuses and a plethora of bandmates entering and leaving the group, guitarist Andy Gill seemed to be the only thing that remained consistent in the legendary English post-punk band Gang of Four from its beginning.

It has now been five months since Gill's death, and to commemorate his life, remaining bandmates John Sterry, Thomas McNeice and Tobias Humble have joined forces with Gill's widow, Catherine Mayer, to present Anti Hero, a short EP with two never-before-heard tracks, as well as revisited versions of of "Change the Locks," off of 2019's Happy Now, and "Glass," a classic from Gang of Four's incendiary debut album, Entertainment!

The first new single, "Forever Starts Now," is a song about an ambitious man manipulating his lover into supporting his fantasy. It features gritty guitar riffs from Andy Gill, and is reminiscent of Gang of Four in their earlier days. The other single, "Day Turns to Night," was a song written by John Sterry as a final goodbye to Andy, and although the lyrics are especially poignant, the track feels like a throwaway from a OneRepublic album with its excessive sound effects, which feel distracting and unnecessary. The new versions of "Change the Lock" and "Glass" don't do much to reimagine these Gang of Four hits, but they nonetheless serve as a reminder of the band's legacy, which never faltered from their debut until their swan song.

For their forty-year career, listeners could not rock out to Gang of Four without appreciating Andy Gill on the guitar. There's no way of knowing what the future holds for the band's remaining three members, but on Anti Hero, they come together in short-but-sweet remembrance of the person who led them to where they are now.

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