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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
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+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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+ Espers - II
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44.1 kHz Archive

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Radio 4
Gern Blandsten

Gang of Four are dead, long live Gang of Four! Well, not exactly. But it seems a handful of bands in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Les Savy Fav, the Ex-Models, et al.), all of whom possess a fanatical love of the English quartet and their danceable, politicized, angular brand of punk rock, are attempting to keep the band's spirit alive by pilfering and altering elements of their sound. They achieve varying degrees of success.

Radio 4's second full length, Gotham!, is one of the best, if not the best, of the Brooklyn-based, Gang of Four-worshipping lot. With the help of DFA producers Tim Goldsworthy and James Murphy (UNKLE, Trans AM, The Rapture) the five-piece band ably draws from the raw, anthemic energy of The Ramones and The Clash, the layered rock intellect of Primal Scream, and, of course, the noisy funkiness of Gang of Four.

On the album opener, "Our Town," Anthony Roman's fuzzy bass line booms against keyboardist Gerard Garone's harpsichord-like arpeggios and grating samples. Tommy Williams and Roman lyrically reflect, in shout-sing, on then-Mayor Guiliani's cleanup (or gentrification) of New York City: "You want to go and change the face/ Turn into a different place/ As if it was some disgrace..." Steeped in localized, personal experiences, the band's lyrics ably convey revolutionary principles without making them sound ripped out of a high-school social-studies textbook.

While politicized reflections on New York City fill much of Gotham!, so does dancing. The album-closing track, a three-minute burst of sonic energy entitled "New Disco," is crammed with Garon's crescendoing, siren-like samples and the driving percussion rhythms of Greg Collins and P.J. O'Connor. The chorus, the simple mantra of "New Disco," proclaims both the potency of the reemerging genre of underground dance rock and the hedonistic allure of the dance-club locale: "It sounds so good/ It looks so good/ It feels so good/ It's all so good!"

Throughout the LP, Radio 4's musings effortlessly move between police abuse and cheating girlfriends. While purists — namely the kind who think too much and dance too little — might dismiss the album as derivative, if Gotham! proves anything, it's that if "it sounds so good," how bad can it be?

by A.K. Gold

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