Guitars Bass & Drums
They're upbeat bad boys ("Count on Me"). They're pessimistic roots rockers ("Paranoid Blues"). They punk it up ("Nothing"). They bop ("Yeah Yeah"). They analyze ("Oh dear, she's having a meltdown"). Like the Buzzcocks, The Reducers have two strong creative voices at the helm -Peter Detmold and Hugh Birdsall are each great songwriting frontmen. Together, they're unbeatable. Their shared knack for emphatic rock statements makes the job of the rhythm section-bassist Steve Kaika and drummer Tom Trombley-that much harder, and that much more impressive. Some Reducers songs are admittedly a hair-band's breadth from becoming a much cheesier kind of rock, so it's the band's stripped-down style, unencumbered solos and nods to rockabilly, punk and I'm even gonna say hardcore Henry Mancini that keep all this 30-year-old band's material on the highest plateau of hip. As for this album's extraordinary 10th track, "My Problem"-a typical Reducer mix of tough vulnerability, misfit identity and emotional control, yet handed to a guest vocalist, Connecticut proto-indie '80s contemporary Mark Mulcahy-whole books could be written on it's virtues, if the scribes could even pick up a pen after hearing it. - Christopher Arnott, New Haven Advocate.