Pop Group

  • Pop Group
  • Y (UK Radar) 1979 
  • For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? (Y/Rough Trade) 1980  (UK Freaks R Us) 2016 
  • We Are Time (UK Y/Rough Trade) 1980  (UK Freaks R Us)  
  • Citizen Zombie (UK Freaks R Us) 2015 

These abrasive, militant British punks rage against racism, oppression, hunger and anything else that’s a world problem; as usual, there’s no solution, only anger. The seminal Bristol band synthesizes Beefheartian structures and tribal dance beats to create a didactic soundtrack that barely lets you breathe. Their two primary albums are alternately brilliant and intolerable, with exhortatory songs like “Feed the Hungry,” “Rob a Bank” and “Communicate.” We Are Time collects outtakes, live tracks and other assorted items.

Despite the limitations of their own records, the Pop Group made their influence strongly felt, both as credible rock minimalists ahead of their time and via the members’ subsequent musical ventures. Bassist Simon Underwood helped found Pigbag; multi-instrumentalist Gareth Sager formed Rip Rig + Panic; singer Mark Stewart is well known under his own name.

[Graham Flashner]

See also: Pigbag, Rip Rig + Panic, Mark Stewart and the Maffia