Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Danceable Punk with just enough edge from Radio 4

I am not a punk. At least, no one has ever called me one where I could hear them. I like my Punk in very small doses. In fact, with the exception of The Clash, I’m a fan of very few of the bands that most people consider Punk. The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, The Jam, The Damned, The Stooges, even Green Day. I might have 2 songs on my iPod from all of those bands combined. I don’t hate it. It’s just not my thing.

What I do like, however, is the sub-genre of Dance Punk. Blondie, the B52s, Arctic Monkeys, The Go! Team, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, some people include Talking Heads. I like this sound a lot. It’s more accessible and melodic, not as angry and chaotic.

Do you feel lucky, Punk?

Do you feel lucky, Punk?

A recent favorite in this category is Brooklyn-based Radio 4. They say their sound is “made in New York, is about New York, and sounds like New York”. Okay. The sound is urgent but danceable, based in pop, but rough around the edges. I can see that.

Their 2002 sophomore release, Gotham!, is a winner, though it may take repeated listens. I know the songs grew on me for a while and now I like the release more than I did the first time I spun it. Check out these 3 tracks.

  • Our Town – A frantic, bass-driven pop song with almost angry guitar and a cool keyboard line at the chorus.
  • Start a Fire – This features some inventive guitar work and more weird keyboards. “Someone needs to start a fire here. Right here!” I imagine this one brings the crowd to their feet when they do it live.
  • Pipe Bombs – They kind of leave the Punk behind on this one and give us a Dub/Electronica tune. An oozy bass line and lots of high hat vamp behind some echoing vocals and spacey accordion. This is great music to have going in the background.

Gotham! was produced by Tim Goldsworthy and James Murphy, who have worked with more electronic artists like U.N.K.L.E., David Holmes, Rapture, and Primal Scream. This makes it their most modern-sounding album and my favorite.



June 8, 2009 - Posted by | Popular, punk, Rock

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