Red Herring's Taste Tests jumps into the digital age

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      Red Herring
      Taste Tests (Independent)

      This year marks the first-ever digital release from one of the most underrated bands of the 1980s Vancouver art-punk scene, with Red Herring led by songwriter-keyboardist-guitarist Enrico Renz and featuring Ray Condo/Petunia and the Vipers/Animal Slaves sideman Stephen Nikleva on lead guitar.

      The original six-song vinyl EP is still easy to find on the cheap in Vancouver used stores, but for those of us who mostly listen to music on our phones while we commute this way or that, this is a fab little CD: spidery guitar, eccentric jazz-meets-new-wave flourishes, and a riff lifted from David Bowie’s “Fame” (on “Love Machine”), along with smart, witty songs about drudgery (“If You Work for Me”), complacency (“The Crab Song”), and consumerism (“Taste Tests”). Taste Tests is to be followed soon, we hope, by a second CD of “unreleased material which we did later but never issued”, Nikleva says; probably best to contact the band via social media to get the digital EP.