PASSIONATE REDS PLAY FOR KEEPS

A drum beat ominously signals the start of the set.  Tommy Geddes' percussive pounding sets up a spare and rigid rhythmic structure.  The beat is full of minimalist persistence.  Enter the guitar and keyboards, slashing out terse riffs that slice violently through the air.  The scenario is complete when vocalist Rick Shaffer joins in, his harsh voice spitting out lyrics.

Be warned.  The Reds® are not a band for all occasions.  They play for keeps.

The Philadelphia quartet, takes a single-minded approach to its music.  The songs are relentlessly dark, dominated by biting rhythms, and angular melodies.  Much of the credit has to go to the rhythm section whose taut interplay anchors the aural attack.  And, when Shaffer sings, his voice resonates with desperation.

The Reds' songs are chilling classics from the post-punk genre.

∎ Craig MacIinnis — The Calgary Sun (Calgary, Ontario, Canada)