Radio 4

Dance to the Underground

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On the heels of their The New Song and Dance LP, this four-song effort from Long Island's Radio 4 is a continuation of their mod rock versus the Clash style of rock & roll, and a damn fine continuation at that. Sounding a great deal like the Combat Rock-era efforts of Joe Strummer and company both musically and vocally, Radio 4 is saved from just being adoring fans and instead pull off the chunky rock with believable skill and creative energy. Singer and bassist Anthony Roman, formerly of Garden Variety, has long since traded in his pained screams, and with his well-honed melodic singing style he leads the group through a charming exercise in syncopated rock catchiness. The guitars are never too overwhelming, instead helping to provide a steady beat along with the group's ever-solid rhythm section, and the boys have a talent for writing slightly unorthodox repeating hooks that are as danceable as they are rocking. The lead track, "Dance to the Underground," is an upbeat hit, though it doesn't necessarily call for the rehashed remix that covers it with synths and more drawn-out beats at the disc's end. The rest of the material makes up for it though, playing on a variety of styles in a short time and proving the band has equal roots in rock and '80s new wave sensibilities. It's a pretty short EP, but it is still a good representation of the group that furthers their reputation for putting out quality music.

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