Enemies Like This
A new dance-rock album in 2006: a prospect akin to giving Rupert Murdoch a quid, he's got enough. But let's be fair, the New York quintet were punk-funking it way back in the late nineties, and can't be accused of bandwagon jumping. What they can be accused of though, is sticking to one sound, and not evolving enough to be truly important. The Clash comparisons that are constantly flung their way are rendered largely invalid by this, because The Clash changed their sound with every LP, and often veered from reggae to punk to soul within just one.
Radio 4 though, cling to the same tired formula for most of Enemies Like This, resulting in a rather dull listen. The band themselves are a well-oiled unit, however, and the playing is always tight. Co-percussionists Greg Collins and P.J O'Connor drive the album along with their complex rhythms, particularly on album highlight "This Is Not A Test", where a tribal rhythm buoys what would have otherwise been an underwhelming effort. Despite the technical proficiency of the band, many of the songs are less than memorable, often resorting to repetitive refrains that go nowhere, (see the overlong "All In Control").
Where they do experiment, like on the dub-tinged "Ascension Street", they show some promise, but lack any edge that would give it a degree of distinction, instead, we are left with an album that is more infuriating than satisfying, and does not even begin to scratch the surface of the potential the band display in their fluid playing.