This is a review of "Black Ops EP" recorded by Red Shift. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2002.
With a name that sounds like a computer game, York's Red:shift are politically and poetically minded post-punk rockers. An effect that may be in the most part down to the low budget production that squelches the instruments, deadens the sound, and puts the singer in a bathroom, in a cathedral, that's been built in a long cave... aah those undesirable 8 track reverbs. For the main, this is as reasonable a home production job as you'll find and other than the vocal issues, there's plenty to get your teeth into. Whether the quality is up to release standards is another matter.
The CD opens with good intentions, the first one and half instrumental Mogwai-esque minutes of "M.F.T.N.Y" setting the scene (despite some occasionally questionable time keeping). But the vocals distract and sadly it's a theme that occurs through out the EP. "Servant" offers a more immediate approach with something resembling a memorable chorus, but "Thousand Suns" is too mixed up with its awkward timings to bypass the cheap production. Instrumental closer "Captain Black" is a moody relief to the ear dispensing with the head in a biscuit tin vocals.
I suspect that with a proper studio and producer (and click track) at their disposal, Red:shift could move to the next level but this EP offers little to remember them by in terms of song writing and too much in terms of production.
Bands will ask you to hear beyond the production quality, but if you are hoping to sell your material, you owe it yourself and other unsigned bands to meet your customers expectations. One bad experience with a scratchy tinny demo is enough to put off most potential local scene supporters, living up to too many stereotypes.