Pylon "Gyrate" (Disc'AZ, France, 1980) VG+/VG+
"The signature sounds of post-punk - the basslines out of dub but in a hermetically-sealed environment, the jagged gothy guitars with a healthy serving of atonality and strings stretched so tight their very texture becomes part of the sound, the mechanized rhythms, the lyrics about form and function and objects and politics (but never about old chestnuts like love) - are all brilliantly embodied in Pylon, early contemporaries/friends/inspirations to both Gang of Four and R.E.M.. How they never attained the respective cult or commercial status of these bands is difficult to say, as they have the tight musicianship and perfect grooves of the former as well as the knack with a pop hook of the latter, but they remain one of the largely unsung greats of post-punk/dance-punk (with a huge influence on the current scene, particularly anybody on DFA Records).
After having been out of print for many years, the reissues of this and their second album were meant to set the record straight. Their debut single is appended to the beginning of Gyrate, which is a good choice because it provides a perfect introduction to the band. Even just the song titles ("Cool" and "Dub") cut right to the heart of the matter and tell you what to expect. The songs on Gyrate are extremely self-referential stuff, being frequently about music and entertainment, but never distancing. It may be hard-angled and a world of noise, but it is still primal dance-punk with an emphasis on the dance, and this music is all about making the listener move, by force if necessary. Dance music with a hint of threat in it, like the best of their peers (Gang of Four, Au Pairs, A Certain Ratio), and this is high up among the best of its kind."