The Pop Group – Citizen Zombie
When The Pop Group first made their return from a decades-long hiatus, opening what would turn out to be Sonic Youth’s final UK shows around December of 2010, it was met with a degree of curiosity afforded to few present-day reunions. The Bristolian four-piece helped shape post-punk with three of the genre’s most pivotal records in the late 1970s, but their decidedly niche fanbase meant that this was likely not a cash-in.
They must have decided they genuinely had something to offer again, just shy of 30 years after disbanding, and this uneven fourth album suggests they weren’t entirely wrong in that regard. It’s erratic and uneven, sure, swinging between sounding outdated (as in the messy Shadow Child) and thrillingly cutting-edge (see Age of Miracles), but the urgency that has always characterised their output remains present and correct in abundance, especially when it comes to Mark Stewart’s vocal delivery.