I came upon The Reds latest release “Early Nothing,” (March 2009) when discussing a script set in Tijuana, Mexico. One of the writers was playing the album’s last track, “Strangeness,” and I commented how the song captured the gritty, late night vibe of TJ’s red lights, where the intersection of poverty and narco excess is always a stone’s throw from the U.S border. As the meeting progressed, and we were discussing a film about Iraq war veterans set in Los Angeles, the track, “Diggin’ It,” played. The catchy guitar riffs and surf hooks, with the ever present organ, captured the Venice beach and Sunset Boulevard of old. But it also captured the inescapable anxiety of today’s America. The dark and grimy undercurrent we all feel but don’t talk about: Is the party over? It was like I was speeding the windy roads of Mulholland in a stolen Ferrari, as the city below burned after the big one finally hit. Again, the music was packed with images and tone.
Throughout listening to “Early Nothing,” track after track, the music and lyrics kept evoking images and feelings that worked for all the films we have set for production. The album’s variety and scope was perfect. After doing a little research I wasn’t surprised to find The Reds have done score work for Michael Mann and other productions. It made perfect sense. What did surprise me was how long these guys have been making music. I assumed they were the tripped out peers of bands like Interpol and Artic Monkeys. I was thrilled to discover The Reds have been pushing the throttle with their own distinct sound for thirty years, a sound that’s grown and captures today so soundly. But then again, maybe they knew what was coming all along.
Repo & Shogun Films
Los Angeles, California