In anticipation of their upcoming album, British post-punk band Gang of Four have released a new track “England’s in My Bones” featuring guest vocals from Alison Mosshart, best known as a member of the Kills and the Dead Weather.
In keeping with some familiar post-punk traditions, the music is just as much about experimental texture as it is structure. The guitar is often shedding off spirals of atonal noise and skronk, just as rhythmic as it is melodic, and oddly hypnotic for how abrasive it can be in certain parts. Like any good Gang of Four track, however, the fiendish nature of the guitar squeal is evened out by a thumping bass line that propels the track forward.
Throw in shaky drum machines and Alison Mosshart’s sultry vibrato, and you have a track as haunting as it is arousing. It’s her vocals (in addition to whoosing echo and reverb) that carry the bare-bones chorus as most of the guitar, drums and bass drop out. It’s an experience as refreshing as it is familiar to fans of the group, and Mosshart’s energy might have a lot to do with the band’s reinvigorated approach to this eerie single.
“England’s in My Bones” is one of the two advanced tracks released off the recently announced album, What Happens Next, which is due out on February 24th. The band had also released the song “Broken Talk” (also with Mosshart) last November as their first sneak preview of the forth coming album.
Though the band may miss former lead vocalist Jon King, Andy Gill has stepped up to be the group’s lead singer. He’ll also have help from vocalists like Mosshart, Robbi Furze, Gail Ann Dorsey, Herbert Gronemeyer and Hotei.
Gill wrote the entire album while also helming the production duties. Anyone who knows the band will be familiar with their emphasis on social themes, but Gill asserts that with the new album, “The focus is more on universal issues, like how individuals behave in certain ways or how our world is constructed, than local issues or current affairs.”
What Happens Next is their first full-length release since 2011’s Content, when Jon King was still in the fold. The band has been making several appearances lately as well, including a spot at Santa Ana, CA’s upcoming Burgerama.
Mosshart has also been busy with her own projects in addition to helping out Gang of Four. For instance, the Dead Weather have just released a new track entitled “Buzzkill(er)/It’s Just Too Bad,” featuring another scorching vocal performance from the singer. She also released a collaboration with Eric Arjes called “Bad Blood” on a recent episode of the Walking Dead.
Listen to the new song “England’s in My Bones” below.