FRIDAY

I’ll be honest: It’s hard to look at those copies of Mall and Shrinkwrapped collecting dust on my CD rack and not be a little apprehensive about Gang of Four’s most recent reunion. Maybe the third time’s the charm? At least, for the band’s latest go-round, Go4 brain trust Jon King and Andy Gill had enough common sense to get original bassist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham in on the deal. And if both Wire and Mission of Burma can get back together, release respectable new albums, and put on exhilarating live shows not entirely steeped in nostalgia, why not Gang of Four? The band’s obvious influence on D.C. music aside, Gill & Co.’s jagged guitar riffs, stripped-down rhythm section, and sociopolitical lyrics are every bit as bracing as they were more than two decades ago. Which, given the number of middling, dancey postpunk bands from NYC they’ve also inspired, is no minor miracle. As for the V2 press release stating that the band is also slated to release a new double-disc set featuring “re-recordings of the Gang of Four’s classics such as ‘To Hell with Poverty’” as well as “new mixes from artists such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ladytron, Dandy Warhols, and the Futureheads”? Well, I know of at least two dusty CDs I can get rid of in order to make way for it. Gang of Four plays with Radio 4 at 10 p.m. Friday, May 20, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25. (202) 397-7328. (Matthew Borlik)

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