by John Tarpley
This garage-pop trio has been a staple of Little Rock music for years, though it rarely plays live. This week, the band's celebrating the release of its sophomore album, "Welcome to Stifft Station," (iTunes link) with a performance at the White Water. So, for you local music buffs, this is another mandatory attendance night. Since 2005, Jason Thompson, Graham Cobb and the popcraft known to ASCAP as Johnny Mac have kicked out bass-heavy, harmonic jams custom-made to slowly grow on you before lodging deep in your head; it's music with a heart firmly in new-wave bomp and hands wrung around the late-'80s college charts. And every once in a while, the band's known to slip up and write an inarguable classic: See "Numbers," from the "Four Songs E.P." on The Reds MySpace page, one of the greatest pop songs to come out of Little Rock, period*. Sadly, the band announced that this is its last album, so consider this a last call to see The Reds bring it.
And as if you need anymore cajoling, the guys wrangled another great rock trio, Dragoon, to open. Two parts Grifters, one part Trusty, the Memphis-based act released "The Offending Party," a cryptic piece of lo-fi garage groove that I'll happily call one of the best albums I've heard all year.
*For real, though: Go give it a listen.