Radio 4 - Enemies Like This
After the post-punk and funk stylings of Radio 4's break through album Gotham! was followed by an album that even the band have admitted was a little lack lustre, you could be forgiven to think that their time was up. But, as the opening and title track Enemies Like This bursts from your speakers you instantly get the impression that they're back on track; the anger, the spark that had been missing is back and firing the band up.
With original guitarist Tommy Williams leaving the band it seems as though his replacement, Dave Milone, has helped shake things up a bit and moved the band away from their predominant influence of Gang Of Four and added a bit of an edge. This seems to have come from listening to a lot of Clash records, even Anthony Roman's voice sounds eerily like Mick Jones in places. Augmented by this fresh input has lead to the funk coming back into the tracks, the rhythm section on most of the tracks here are certainly danceable - as the recent DFA Remixes album proves, they didn't have to do much to Dance To The Underground to turn it into a dance track (in fact Phil Mossman of LCD Soundsystem plays guitar on Always a Target). Bringing producer Jagz Kooner on board has also helped this, best known for remixes of Kasabian, Primal Scream and Soulwax has given the album a focused and tight sound without removing any of their particular stylings.
The lyrics have moved away from their overtly political and slogan filled nature on previous albums, things are a little more understated with Roman admitting as much and wanting to be more influenced by beatnik poetry and "spontaneous prose". The tracks certainly feel a lot more fluid and less forced than their previous efforts, but that's not to say that there's still not a message here. As Far As The Eye Can See is an edgy yet positive track about the Katrina disaster whilst All In Control with it's drum and bass intro, jangly guitars and lyrics attacking the mess that world governments have made of the world it's as close to a Clash reunion as we're going to get.
Sure things may not be incredibly original, but I can't help playing this record loud and bouncing around the room like a loon. There is something infectious about the guitars, drums and bass that work their way into your skull in such a way that you'll find yourself humming them for weeks.