This 10" EP came out right around the time of the Reds debut album and contains two bonus tracks not available elsewhere: "Break on Through", a tight new wave style version of the Door's classic and "Destination" a previously unreleased track. It also includes "Self Reduction", and "Whatch'a Doin' To Me" two of the best tracks on the album.
This album explodes like fireworks in a black sky, as the 1970's come to an end. Put simply it is a "Landmark Record" which is why it has never lost its allure.
The driving force is the guitar of Jim Shaffer and keyboards of Bruce Cohen. Remember that keyboards weren't common in hard rock at the time so Cohen and mates were pioneering a sound .We can't forget the rhythm section. None of this could work without them. Kudos to Tommy Geddes and Jim Peters.
With all the muscle wielded by The Reds their songs are also smart and musically first rate. They are sometimes angry, sometimes frustrated, and like all good writing, they don't fear exploring conflict. The vocals can't be any better. I'd like to see The Reds released again. It would be a great modern-rock candidate, with gorgeous tonality, wonderful song craft and impressive production. "Lookout" or "Self Reduction" would be fresh on the radio.
How can a band miss with their intellect and their kind of presence?
Note. This great Philadelphia band released only this eponymous album, an EP and some singles on A & M. Some of the records were on green vinyl. The album jacket is quite eye-catching. We suggest a visit to The Reds website It is quite interesting and very comprehensive.- Vinyl History.com.
After releasing their first album for A&M [a real stunner] one would certainly be tempted to squeeze out another pretty similar record. However, the band chooses a road not often taken. They open with the ominous hard rocking "The Danger" and pull a really nice downshift into a melodic "Stronger Silence" the effect being a six minute.tune. "Don’t Let Go" is a really huge sounding song with a terrific Rick Shaffer guitar solo. Bruce Cohen's "It's not the same Thing" allows for a nice guitar solo which doesn't over run the tune. "I don’t Know" is another Shaffer song and allows room for a rippling solo.
"Stronger Silence" is a huge creative jump for the Reds. Bruce Cohen's keyboards can trade leads, accent, or pull back. The limber rhythm section of Tommy Geddes and Jim Peters play with heartfelt conviction. The lyrics are first rate. Songs deal with discord, conflict, and suicide, but reflect both timeless human concerns and life in a violent, recession ridden welfare state. The haunting "Just a Second" on side 2 includes a command to close your eyes which sets up Bruce Cohen's superb keyboard conclusion piece "Signal". Everything works here; Creative songwriting involving all, terrific playing, fresh arranging, a powerful and clear front man and kudos to those who ran the board. Absolutely Perfect!
Though they were relatively unknown at this point in their career The Reds cast a long shadow over the music of the early 1980'S.This masterpiece is what we see as the "Keyboard album."
The brand is still dominant ‘but the Reds are always moving forward. The power on "Fatal Slide" comes from Bruce Cohen's keyboard driven by the rhythm section of Tommy Geddes and Jim Peters. Rick Shaffer concentrates on a superb set of lyrics. His vocals are sometimes ominous, sometimes angry and at times understanding.
As usual there are no soft spots on the album but "Fatal Slide", "Social Service", "Do what you want" and the hypnotic "Mister Z" are songs every music head needs to hear.
It’s possible that “Fatal Slide” could serve as an artistic template for Depeche Mode starting with the "Black Celebration" period but that's some Vinyl History Musing over another Red's outstanding record. Take this one to a quiet spot relax and enjoy magnificent music.