Radio 4 – Enemies Like This

Radio 4A while back I was talking about Primal Scream and their use of different producers on their XTRMNTR album and where you could draw the line between the band and the producer. A couple of years ago the DFA duo produced a number of great bands like the Rapture, !!! and Radio 4. The bands all had a common aesthetic; strong basslines, scratchy guitars and danceable beats. The DFA produced Radio 4’s breakthrough second album Gotham!, but for their third (Stealing Of A Nation),the band went for a slicker, more polished sound. Whilst I think the album’s pretty underrated, it didn’t get positive reviews and the same happened when the band released their fourth album, Enemies Like This.

In my opinion, music critics aren’t giving the band a fair chance. With Stealing Of A Nation, they said Radio 4 went “too slick”, now with Enemies Like This, the band have gone back to a more guitar based sound but the critics are saying they’re just ripping off the Clash and Gang Of Four. I think that if they are, then it’s no more blatant than on Gotham! But Enemies Like This is a mixed album no doubt, there’s some great tracks, like the driving, bass-led “(Always) A Target” and the disco beat of “As Far As The Eye Can See”

I don’t think there’s any bad track on the album, but I think they all fall under the shadow of the title track; “Enemies Like This” just has so much energy and machine gun drumming it overshadows everything else on the album. The fact it comes right at the start means the album has a lot to live up to. I don’t think Radio 4 will be in danger of breaking up, (like the Cooper Temple Clause) ‘cos American bands seem to carry on in the face of bad reviews, but it’d be nice to see them record another album with the DFA just to silence the critics a bit.

Radio 4 – Enemies Like This:

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