The band is The Reds, and though they hail from the city on the Delaware River, they don't sound like Hall and Oates, which is probably what got them into trouble with their record company.  With the aid of a true anthem of despair, Self Reduction, The Reds ascended into the Gucci-lined offices of A&M Records.  The song evoked American life at its worse, and deftly avoided the one-chord wonderment of the British view of life-as-shit.

This was a mournfully downcast vision of turning off that the record big shots understood.  Punk, whatever that was, was the rage, so they plugged in an in-house producer, cut the LP into green vinyl, and waited for the money.  When success and sales failed to materialize, the convivial executives hastened the band to their West coast lair to address the problem.  "Remove the gloom, cast aside the sordid glimpses of reality.  Soften the sound.  Plane the edges with acoustic guitar."  The band laughed and bid adieu.

Instead of securing another mega-company recording deal, The Reds returned to the studio, enlisted a producer with some feeling for their ideas, and cut two LP's, then licensed both to the Canadian label, Stony Plain.  Though not rich for the effort, they are at least satisfied.  This means The Reds are still The Reds, not the Multicolors, or the Pinks.  Their 7th Street Entry performance proved it, and they etched their message into the basement walls.

∎ Jerry Zelesnikar, Minnesota Daily, 1982