The ReducersVer no iTunes
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Roaring their way out of New London, Connecticut, the Reducers were one of the great underrated bands of the '80s. The band recorded, in just under two years, three albums of punk- and pub rock-inspired rowdy rock & roll, chock-full of wiseass ruminations on life and love. The Reducers were post-punks with a formalist approach to rock & roll: two guitars, bass, and drums that echoed mid-'60s British Invasion and American garage rock. What made them different from the average retro-rock bar band was being hip, funny, and smarter-than-most; plus having two ace songwriters in Hugh Birdsall and Peter Detmold, who wrote wry and comically desperate songs like "Let's Go" ("Let's go to London/where all the music's good/Let's go to Paris/they've got a lot of nice food"), "Rocks" (as in "New London hardly ever"), and the brilliant "Maximum Depression." Ultimately, what may have sunk the Reducers, or at the very least limited the breadth of their audience, was their almost willful lack of pretension. There were absolutely no gimmicks, false pretenses towards stardom, or slick attitude; they were the real deal, working-class guys who played rock & roll because it meant the hope of a better life and (maybe) a ticket out of New London. This fire and determination, while not making them stars, made even their weakest songs still sound like they meant it. The title of their third album, Cruise to Nowhere, was unintentionally prophetic, as the band slipped into a crack in the earth by the end of 1986. A CD compilation of their "greatest hits" was released in the early '90s, but all three Reducers albums belong in the home of any self-respecting rock fan who shares an affinity for Dr. Feelgood, the Sex Pistols, and ? and the Mysterians, and lives in a place like New London.