First single in 35 years is well worth the wait
The Pop Group were one of a kind. Forming in Bristol in 1977, then disbanding in 1981. They released two classic albums. Y in 1979 and For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder and featured a collaboration with the Last Poets. Sadly it’s currently out of print, but copies still exchange hands for large sums of money. Over the years there have been a few compilations, and a few live bootleg albums exist, but no new material has been released. Until now.
Mad Truth was recorded with producer Paul Epworth last year, and is set to feature on their new album Citizen Zombie released in February. The Pop Group’s singer Mark Stewart said about working with Paul Epworth “He gave us the freedom to create and, with his help, destiny rides again for the Pop Group”. Given the quality of Mad Truth this appears to be true. Epworth returned the compliment by saying
“The energy of The Pop Group is still there, the ideas are still there, it still fizzes with a life that most young bands just don’t have.” Let’s hope this love in creates something that equals their original material, and doesn’t lump them in with the current revivalist scene.
Luckily Mad Truth is pack full of the Pop Group’s usual disdain for musical convention. There are funk guitars (that skirts around the right side of Bowie’s Fame) with big bombastic drums and a surging bass. Lyrically it’s business as usual, but there is added melancholy in Stewart’s vocals. While this doesn’t reach the heights of We Are All Prostitutes, or She is Beyond Good and Evil, it does bode well for Citizen Zombie.