Frontman Matt Bowman told the New Musical Express March 1, 2008: "To be honest 'This Is An Emergency' could describe the last 12 months. It's been fairly frantic, everything's been going at breakneck speed between gigs and touring and festivals. I think we've definitely written a record rather than 12 songs to play live that we just happened to record as an album. This is not a concept album by any stretch of the imagination though. I think the biggest concern was not to just write, 'Oh, we've been touring the world for the last 12 months-the laughs we've had, blah, blah, blah.' The charm of the first album was that we wrote a lot of songs that people could relate to."
The Emergency album was recorded with Stephen Street (Blur, The Smiths, The Cranberries). Bowman told the New Musical Express March 1, 2008 that the legendary producer introduced a strict work ethic: "Stephen's down to earth, you can have a laugh and a joke with him, but when he presses that 'record' button it's time to work. He was quite strict in how we worked, then afterwards he came out of his shell and we could all have a drink and a laugh at Jimmy's drum parts. Jim's quite a perfectionist, and it became an in-joke of the whole session that he would have to do his drums again and again."
"It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" was inspired by a dream where Michael Stipe conjured up images of people with the initials L.B.: Lester Bangs, Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Leonard Bernstein.
The Naughty by Nature hit "O.P.P." doesn't have any curse words, but many oversensitive radio stations played a "clean" version with the word "kitten" edited out, surely the first time that word was censured.