It only takes a few seconds of Enemies Like This, the title track to Radio 4's new album, to realize that the Brooklyn-based band has returned with all cylinders fired up and with a rejuvenated sense of purpose. Radio 4 have never been ones to shy away from making a loud noise or issuing a firm statement, but on Enemies Like This, they've both streamlined and stretched their sound, they've cut the fat, trimmed the filler, and focused on the meat that makes the music, not the spices that can bury it. Enemies Like This is the album long awaited by all those who know that, up to now, Radio 4's strongest impression has been made from the stage.
To this end, Radio 4 stayed out of big studios for Enemies Like This. They recorded the backing tracks in December 2005 in an industrial section of Williamsburg (Headgear Studios), and added overdubs in the basement of a converted factory in Park Slope (the sarcastically named Seaside Lounge). For production, they brought over from London Jagz Kooner, a founding member of The Aloof and Sabres of Paradise known also for his radical mixes for Primal Scream, Kasabian, Soulwax and others. Radio 4 had struck up a friendship with Kooner on their travels, noting his innate understanding of how rock music can groove without getting all cerebral or convoluted about it.
Enemies Like This came in ten songs and 43 minutes long - like albums used to be back when they were spread over two sides of vinyl and there was no space to bury your mistakes. As much as these ten songs are devoid of filler, they're also thrillingly diverse. Try and spot the influences - Anthony Roman is about to openly cop to some of them - but don't presume to peg this band. Radio 4 are proud of the scene from which they emerged, but with Enemies Like This, they've become very much their own entity.