Not to be confused with BBC Radio 4, there is also a band called Radio 4 that plays stripped-down, post-punk influenced indie rock. They have quickly catapulted themselves to national attention with their funk and groove-based brand of garage rock, and have gained fans by touring with some of the biggest indie rock acts, The Dismemberment Plan and The Faint.

Members:

Greg Collins - Drums/Percussion
Anthony Roman - Vocals/Bass/Keyboards
Tommy Williams - Vocals/Guitar
Gerard Garone - Keyboards
P.J. O'Connor - Percussion

New York City's Radio 4 formed in the spring of 1999, taking their name from a Public Image Ltd. song. Radio 4 takes musical cues from the late '70s and early '80s post-punk movement as well as garage rock. They quickly released a three song EP on New Jersey's Gern Blandsten label, which is distributed by indie conglomerate Southern records.

In 2000, Radio 4 recorded The New Song and Dance, a rough-edged Clash-ish rock and roll album in the New York tradition. The album was a somewhat laid-back danceable rock record that showcased the unique interplay of a rhythm section and guitar that each keep the beat. The band would go on to tour the U.S. with The Dismemberment Plan.

After the tour, the group went right back into the studio, cutting the Dance to the Underground EP, signaling a shift in direction for Radio 4. The new EP focused on adding a more funky sound and some electronics, a path they would continue on for the next album.

Armed with a new focus to make a more upbeat, dance-y, funky record, Radio 4 hit the studio in NY with production duo DFA, known for producing electronic acts like UNKLE and David Holmes as well as dance rock bands The Rapture and Primal Scream. For 2001's Gotham!, the band achieved a more unique sound consisting of many layers of guitar licks, electronic beats, blips, squeaks, claps, and keyboards. Lyrically, the record was a tribute to New York City, appropriately fitting their New York sound. Since the album was recorded before the tragedies of September 11, 2001, their music would have even more meaning. With Gotham!, the group had come up with a winning sound that would create a nationwide buzz in indie rock circles, and would even get indie rock heavyweights The Faint to invite them along on their European tour.

Oddly enough, most of the CD reviews for Gotham! available on the web appear to be in German or French, so non-bilingual folks bring your Babelfish.

Discography

Similar Artists

Gang of Four, Public Image Ltd., Primal Scream, The Fall, Television, The Rapture, Mission of Burma, The Clash

Sources

  • All Music Guide http://www.allmusic.com
  • http://www.r4ny.com

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