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                                    ROME, ITALY

Dropped into semi-obscurity by A&M, who has no sympathy toward anyone who doesn't sound similar to the commercial formula Joe Jackson, or The Police, after their debut album and EP, The Reds® tied with the Canadian label Stony Plain and, hopefully, an alliance in the fight against anonymity.

Their second LP, Stronger Silence, still feeds itself from the cold chalice of the restlessness signified by the abnormal and spirited presence of the electronic keyboard of Bruce Cohen, and more generally feeds from a musical association reminiscent of the psychedelic heavy sound of the early ‘70's (who can remember the hypnotic Breach Of Lease in 1971 by Third Blood Rock?) with the vocal sound of guitarist Rick Shaffer, who sounds much like Eric Bloom of Blue Oyster Cult.

The group is not changed as far as their preceding efforts.  The sound chemistry is not fundamentally different, although one can distinguish a trend toward the modern dance of It's Not The Same Thing, and the funky psychotic processions in Killing You are still more convincing considering the mess of substitutions that usually play this musical genre.  The Danger and Do You Play The Game repeat the violent representation in their opening passages, which was also a specialty of their first album.  On Stronger Silence The Reds® give a touch of magic to an intelligent composition, which reminds somewhat of early Tom Petty.

Among the significant cuts, I also like The Signal, an imaginative space-rock instrumental.  One can only look to the stars to justify the disinterest in the Philadelphia-based band, because they are most certainly superior to the average new wave band.


 ∎ Rockerilla — Rome, Italy