THE REDS8:30 p.m., Vino’s. $5
Three or four years ago, no one performed more often than Johnny Mac. Imminently recognizable, with a shaved head and dark-framed glasses, the singer/songwriter always played alone, singing pop-rock songs with hooks that lodged themselves deep in the recesses of your brain. (“Fine Lines,” Mac’s go-to track back in the day and an early 45 single on Max Recordings, is still, happily, stuck deep in mine today.) Lately, Mac’s taken to leading a band, first as Johnny Mac and the Reds and now, simply, the Reds
(“Not like communists. Like colors,” their MySpace page says). After a long stretch of inactivity, the Reds reemerge to celebrate the release of their album, “Economy of Motion,” from Max Recordings. It’s a charming debut with hints of Cars-y new-wave and bubblegum. Handclaps and nonsense chants factor into just about every hook, from routine “na-na-na-nas” to an awesome sound somewhere between a retch and a kung-fu call. The album’s best track, “Summer,” can’t square anticipatory visions of summer with the reality (“it’s all wrong,” goes the sweeping chorus); it’s got just the right amount of pop and conflict to be the summer jam that carries you into the fall.
More Reds: Summer jam