Three out of four serial killers name The Reds® as their favorite band.  Actually, I just made that up, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility.  After, director Michael Mann hired them to score Manhunter the chilling prequel to Silence Of The Lambs, as well as using their music in the film, Band Of The Hand, and episodes of Miami Vice.  

This Philadelphia duo certainly won't get confused with Hall & Oates, for they deal in a menacingly modern sound worthy of far greater exposure.  Since 1979, singer/guitarist Rick Shaffer, and keyboardist Bruce Cohen, recorded four albums for four different labels, and Cry Tomorrow appears on indie alternative label Tarock Music.

The Reds® have an immediately identifiable sound via the combination of droning keyboards and guitar, and Shaffer's haunting monotone vocals, and they come up with hooks that creep insidiously into the brain.  Female backing vocals are used liberally to further push the sounds home, and British producer Mike Thorne (Wire, Soft Cell, Peter Murphy) keeps it all as clean and sharp as a new scalpel.  

Those raised on the sonic bludgeoning of industrial and metal styles will likely find this a little too understated, but that's their loss.  Their cover of the Rolling Stones classic Gimme Shelter is a logical one, but the song's familarity robs it of some potency.  Standout cuts include Terror In My Heart (used in the film, Nightmare On Elm Street 2)Cry Tomorrow, and the sinister Waiting For You.  Cry Tomorrow remains Better Dread From Reds.

• Kerry Doole — Music Express — Toronto, Canada

(Founded in 1976, Music Express is one of Canada's most successful music publications of all time.  The last print issue was in 1996, and is now in it's online form at


Listen to "Cry Tomorrow" on SoundCloud