They redesigned rock in the punk aftermath, taking the incendiary energy of the form and crisscrossing it with funk, stripping away the baggage of rock excess and creating a new stripped-down music that was full of agit energy, heavy grooves, shrapnel guitars and politically charged lyrics matching the fervour of the times. Swerving trad rock rhythms, the beats were invented from scratch and every instrument played a pivotal role in the sound in a non-hierarchical structure.
In short, they came up with post punk.
The band then bounced around the music business releasing a series of albums that have been a direct inspiration to a diverse selection of bands who wanted to deconstruct rock music without losing its sense of excitement, from the surrounding post-punk generation to the big bands that followed. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, INXS, R.E.M., U2, Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana and Massive Attack have all spoken of their debt to Gang of Four.