Redd Kross - Researching the Blues
RIYL: Rock & roll.
Redd Kross have always been too good, too perfect, too true, to believe. Mythic. Could this tuneful hardcore punk EP really be the work of a brother band with the 15-year-old on vocals and guitar and the 11-year-old on bass? Did Redd Kross really open for Black Flag? Could Jeff and Steve really have been born and raised in the Beach Boys’ hometown of Hawthorne, California, and did Jeff really see the Beatles live in 1966? Did one of them, dressed in Gene Simmons makeup, really kill a Bruce Springsteen impersonator onstage? Is that really their hair? Could Researching the Blues, their first studio album in 15 years, be not just the hottest thing since Cher went solo but the best start-to-finish Redd Kross record ever?
Somehow, the answer to all the above is improbably, wonderfully, beautifully YES. Long have Redd Kross rocked, and long have critics, devoted fans, Rodney Bingenheimer and fellow musicians from Seattle (Nirvana) to New York (Sonic Youth) to Driftwood, Texas (Butthole Surfers) to Hollywood (everybody) bowed before the Kross and their self-aware pre-spandex Glam bubblegum garage psychedelic Cheap Trick/Kiss/Revolver post-Kim Fowley rock and roll. Degenerate, sweet: tongues in cheek, song-long winks. Commercial success may never have been theirs (if time and space had been aligned correctly, they’d have been blitzing ballrooms in the early '70s instead of opening for Stone Temple Pilots in the early '90s), but Redd Kross have endured and endeared because they've always had the best possible attitude: smarts, smiles, and total commitment to live hair-spinning showmanship.