While St. Vincent’s ferocious cover of “She Is Beyond Good and Evil” on her ‘Strange Mercy’ tour may have gone a ways to raise their profile, The Pop Group reformed over a year before she brought their manic playfulness and anger to a fresh audience. Citing a genuine need to regroup and settle some unfinished business (musically) and feeling more focused than in their early raging years, they’d been chipping away at a new album for years before Citizen Zombie was finally realized (Seriously, it’s not like there were a bunch of commercial rewards to reap). Definitely more controlled than on their debut, ‘Y’, over 35 years ago, Citizen Zombie is a seriously dance-y record with enough of their unique anger and careless abrasion to keep the record vital. For anyone wondering what the hell I’m talking about, think of the spastic qualities of Deerhoof melded with the righteous fury of the Clash or Gang of Four. They were equally innovative and influential as their peers in Gang of Four, Wire, and Joy Division, though decidedly less famous due to their tendency to dissolve into cartoonish screams and noise as soon as they’d hinted at a hook. Here’s another timeless band to look to when you’re trying to figure out where all the cool music came from.
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