In 1979, two school kids all hopped-up on punk-rock started their own group in their hometown of Hawthorne, Los Angeles (birthplace of the Beach Boys) and soon found themselves opening shows for notorious scene pioneers Black Flag. Jeff McDonald was fifteen, and his brother Steven McDonald was only eleven still an amazing story to this day maybe even more so today imagine an Eleven year old pulling his face off his phone to learn an instrument and go play a punk roc show.

Redd Kross’s forty-fifth birthday― an important anniversary for any group whose heart pulses at 45RPM―and the brothers celebrate the event with a veritable multimedia extravaganza. There’s a memoir, Now You’re One Of Us, due in November, with author Dan Epstein telling the group’s story in the McDonalds’ unmistakable (and occasionally contrary) voices. A brilliant rockumentary, ‘Born Innocent’, directed by Andrew Reich, will premiere later in the year. Most exciting of all, this new album―an eponymous double-album, no less, is packed with eighteen of their sharpest, most addictive songs thus far. The album is of course smattered with their now trade mark dayglo widescreen power chords, huge choruses with more layers than puff pastry rolls and tunes that will take up residency in your skull for weeks. Redd Kross are in the house ladies and gentlemen and thank fuck for that.

The record – oh didn’t I mention it’s a double LP? well, it is. Begins with one of the songs that was leaked out a few weeks ago with its gentle acoustic intro and those layered vocals I alluded to earlier then – Bang! we’re in the fuzzed-up Bass is leading the charge.

I don’t want a long drawn-out review I’ll just give a brief airbrushed overview and let you rush out and get your own copy. Hell, click the link and get the record it even comes with a download so you can get an instant hit.

‘Stunt Queen’ goes a little more aggressively which is nice before we head back into the gentler more melodic ‘The Main Attraction’. The album is a smidgeon under the hour mark which is nice and the ebb and flow is obvious from the off as ‘Cancion Enojada’ is louder whereas ‘Good Times Properganda Band’ is again more gentle with its psychedelic intro with the bass holding down the groove baby whilst the melody is classic Kross.

The album sounds like a slice of unabashed joy, really upbeat and packed with excitement. The middle of the record gets to the heart of the matter with ‘Terrible Band’ and ‘Stuff’ having its jangly moments and thick with melodies before ‘Too Good To Be True’ races off with my mind hitting on that dirty throbbing bassline before the guitar licks are choked out of the speakers, fantastic stuff.

There seems to be plenty of Ringo’s drum licks recycled here to great effect. ‘The Witches Stand’ is that a power ballad I hear? one of those late-night songs telling stories and catching everyone’s attention. Two albums worth of material wrapped into the one release is more than Redd Kross fans could have wished for and not for a second does it disappoint. There’s even time for a foot on the monitor rocker in the shape of ‘Lay Down And Die’ which is nice. All things considered, it’s a magical album with twists and turns and the vital Redd Kross non-negotiables included, we even have the sitar fused alt-rock of ‘Emanuelle Insane’ before the record is closed off with the fantastic first single off the record ‘Born Innocent’ now when is the film out again? and when can we get those UK tour dates put out again and the sooner the better please gents. Another must-own record courtesy of Redd Kross.

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Author: Dom Daley