Hmmm. Well, Radio 4 seems to have taken a turn into a creative cul-de-sac with a brick on the accelerator pedal and the steering wheel locked into continuous donut maneuvers.
The premise of the fourth album from the Brooklyn outfit was to go back to the basics of their core makings while forgoing their political angst, the latter of which was prevalent in their last release, Stealing of a Nation. The band was also driving for a greater reflection of the energy they project in their live sets.
A few of the checkmarks have been made and the production is rich and lively, with enough power to successfully kick out a solid summer party soundtrack all the girls would love, which is very much connected to Radio 4’s fingerprint. One can’t help but move to the beat of those basslines and conga drums, especially while balancing a fruity umbrella drink.
At this point in Radio 4’s career, it feels like Anthony Roman (lead vocals, bass) has been digging around in the back of his record store, dusted off a few Clash and late ‘70/ early ‘80s dub records, and brought them into the studio (“Ascension Street,” “Always A Target”) for Enemies Like This. The influences are just too obvious and the excitement, innovation and vibrancy of their 2002’s Gotham! is dormant. It’s just business as usual, which is disappointing.
Roman has (or maybe still is) dealing with some health issues and the original guitarist Tommy Williams left the group since the release of Stealing…, which could have potentially thrown things off track creatively. Maybe another year in the making could have made for a more original effort with something new to present their fans (like me).