Recipients of cult renown, via a self-released single last year, The Reds® hit upon a sound that rocked like the Cars, yet was as austere as BOC, and cloying as Iron Butterfly. The 45 was ominously on-target and laughably inept — almost simultaneously — yet made Reds freaks of all who heard it.
Producer Davin Kershenbaum brought The Reds' sound to fruition — commercial, yet comfortably in the red. The riff-centered and synth-iced sound of their single has become the rule here. Songwriter/vocalist Rick Shaffer writes with the severity and lyrical pentameter of Tom Verlaine. The difference between The Reds® and Television, however, is in the fleshing out process. If Verlaine recorded "Luxury" it would sound foreboding despite the lyric's faint optimism. The Reds®, on the other hand, run a few volts of Pere Ubu undersea cable electronics through, and the result almost qualifies for AOR. Only "Joey," previously the A-side of another self-released 45, ultimately convinces, combining a political thrust with shades of "Friction." The chilling result sets the tone for this most resolute of debut albums.
— Cary Baker