Gang of Four – Anthrax

The first thing you’ll notice about the above image if you’ve heard Anthrax by before, or after you listen to it if you haven’t, is that I have very conspicuously got the wrong insect (are scorpions even insects?) in the picture – there’s a reason for that.

The underlying motif of the song is stasis and the trap that is apparently Gang Of Four’s conception of modern love – with the recurring lyric being ‘feeling like a beetle on its back’. The miserablist nature of that aside, it is a creeping, shifty-sounding song that is one of the best produced by the unarguably brilliant Gang of Four.

I chose the slightly creepy, itchy looking image because the song’s multiple overdubbed vocals seem to fit it well, not to mention the stark nature of Gang Of Four’s music working well with the two tone (not like that!) image. Anthrax kicks off with over a minute’s feedback and then a twin pronged vocal from Andy Gill and Jon King that at times echo one another before diverging again down different paths…

The image isn’t a Photoshop job, alarmingly it was captured looking almost exactly like this (a little post-production brightening and contrast changing has gone on) in London Zoo thanks to the odd lighting of the reptile house.

If you enjoy the music of Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, or Bloc Party and are not aware of the debts they owe to bands like Gang of Four (and for that matter Magazine and Wire amongst others) then you should check out the brilliant retrospective Return the Gift – although the album Entertainment, which featured Anthrax, is also excellent and features lots of the same tracks.

You can buy Return The Gift from Amazon: here<\a> and Entertainment here<\a>

And you can download them here from
Gang Of Four

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