Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Doin' His Own Thing: Redd Kross - "Stay Away from Downtown" (Pop Punk Review?)



Oh, Tom Breihan, you've done it again!; After reading, watching, and ultimately rejecting Redd Kross' new music video for "Stay Away from Downtown," which was just released online late yesterday afternoon... I have somewhat hastily re-considered my initial opinion on the whole thing. Since reading Breihan's STELLAR album review of Researching The Blues [released today], I've realized that what I thought was it's biggest drawback is actually the album's greatest strength - That undeniably thick layer of Pop Rock sheen! Redd Kross are quite arguably just as Pop-driven as the music of Britney Spears, Katy Perry, or even Justin Bieber. But the fellas of Redd Kross have been earnestly practicing and improving since middle school, when the opened up for Black Flag @ a graduation party (1978).


Researching The Blues is the band's first album in some 15 years and honestly, it isn't trying to represent/become anything that they aren't legit 100% fully behind. Steven McDonald currently plays bass with Hardcore Punk super-group, OFF! and some of Redd Kross' former members have ended up playing with seminal Punk bands like: Misfits, Black Flag, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Circle Jerks, etc. Redd Kross' newly-formed "reunion line-up" is then rounded out by Jeff McDonald, Robert Hecker, and Roy McDonald - no relation. The present day version of the band has been re-activated since about 2004-06 and have written/recorded and toured behind new material, which is now being presented as Researching The Blues.

Brother Jeff McDonald recently co-directed a sweet-ass Lo-Fi music video "Stay Away from Downtown" along with friend-collaborator, Dave Markey. It looks a lot like some footage of a golden pleather jacket-clad KISS cover band... jamming in someone's basement in front of a green screen, which pans around the world. Researching The Blues is essentially "10 songs in just under 32 minutes" and it's now available on Merge & Burger Records [cassette], ranging in price from roughly $6-18; I know that I just ordered a copy of that limited edition Redd Kross tape (250) and man, so should you, before it's too late!

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