The Pop Group
We Are Time/Cabinet Of Curiosities
Freaks R Us
The Pop Group = Gang of Four + The Fall – Joy Division
When punk rock first emerged in the late 1970s, it was largely a mishmash of roughly hewn noise by miscreants who couldn’t really play an instrument, crossed with a struggle to breathe new life into elemental rock riffs. British Bands like The Fall, Gang Of Four and The Pop Group added artsy touches like leftist poetic rants, dance rhythms—which, at times, were downright funky—and punched-up jazz-influenced guitar, but also more experimental touches like atonalism. The Freaks R Us label re-released The Pop Group’s 1980 studio set We Are Time and the rarities collection Cabinet Of Curiosities. With their rambling bass lines, astringent guitars and acerbic vocals, they influenced a number of bands who also stretched the boundaries, like Minutemen and Bad Brains. They were one of the first bands to treat punk rock like an art form, and these discs still sound as brilliant and daring now.