Radio 4 Stealing Of A Nation

[Astralwerks; 2004]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: dance-punk, indie rock
Others: The Rapture, Gang Of Four, The Clash, !!!

How many times have you heard the phrase, "so-and-so is back and better than ever?" And how many times has that sentence only been half true (the back part)? Well, put away your pessimism 'cause this is the real deal. Anyone who doesn't think the new Radio 4 is their best release yet never liked them in the first place... or is doing it out of spite for me. The pre-9/11 recorded Gotham!, as good and almost clairvoyant as it was, could've been a lost Clash album as the threesome struggled to come to terms with confusing times both politically and musically; but Stealing Of A Nation is the satisfying sound of a band hitting its stride and completely coming into its own. Sure, Tony Williams' Clashy guitars and beats and basslines reminiscent of the Happy Mondays' Thrills 'n' Pills And Bellyaches are still in full force, but they are more refined. Max Heyes' (Primal Scream) production and the addition of Gerard Gerome on keyboards and percussionist P.J. O'Connor has rounded out their sound in the studio, helping them to transcend their influences and create something that is both infectiously danceable and highly intelligent, but at all times distinctively Radio 4. Anthony Roman's voice seems to have matured as well, while more attention to electronic touches and percussive breakdowns make the album smoother and more listener friendly. In light of successful albums by fellow New Yorkers !!! and The Rapture, Stealing Of A Nation is sure to be the album where Radio 4 finally unleashes their X factor and takes their message to the top. Sit up and take notice!

1. Party Crashers
2. Transmission
3. State of Alert
4. Fra Type I and II
5. The Death of American Radio
6. Nation
7. No Reaction
8. Absolute Affirmation
9. (Give Me All of Your) Money
10. Shake the Foundation
11. Dismiss the Sound
12. Coming Up Empty