Pennsylvania roughnecks who’ve got a chemistry class and want a piece of your ass, The Reds® sometimes button their white collars at the top yet their riff-and-organ tones are so garbagey that upon initially hearing “Self Reduction” on an AOR  station (back when AOR still played such stuff) I thought somebody’d finally knocked some sense into Deep Purple’s heads.  So how they passed as anorexic-cravat new-wavers beats me.  Rick Shaffer spits his bitter banter rapid-fire as often as not, yelping at wrongness everywhere.  There’s more dronehooks and less supernumerary frills and flurries here than on their later invisible-label follow-ups ― “Lookout” is a seven-minute tower of power that would’ve made these bombastically pessimist miniaturists the new Iron Butterfly if A&M would’ve given ‘em a real shot; “Whatcha’ Doin’ To Me” is Jimmy Page pogoing payback on Sid’s grave’ and the other perturbitude is compressed but complicated, not so much “arty” as just impatient.  Sorta like if Joy Division had come from a Philly suburb instead of some stupid factory burg in Blighty.

Chuck Eddy
Stairway To Hell ― The 500 Best Heavy Metal Albums In The Universe ©1991
The Reds® ― #279 ― Page 130

(Harmony Books, 201 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022 ― Jacket Design: Koppel & Scher)