Brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald are back with another batch of Redd Kross – and bearing in mind it’s been over fifteen years since their last outing, this set of live wired melodies and guitar riffery kicks about in the Californian sun like they never left.
The band had gone on an indefinite hiatus around ’98, but in recent years the Neurotica-era line-up (their ‘87 album and career high) got it back together for the live circuit – and here we are with Researching the Blues.
The record opens with the excellent title track and it’s like someone has given the band an adrenaline shot, bundled them into the studio and bolted the doors. Their infectious brand of punk, alt- rock and melody bounces of the walls with wah-wah solos and ripped vocals running riot over the distorted energy.
From here on in we’re party to a sonic adventure of hooks, restless guitar riffs and a vibe that suggests Redd Kross are enjoying every minute of this record. Just hear the criss-Kross harmonies on the sun-kissed One of the Good Ones, or how the words “you can win but only from within” ring true on the vocally raw and steady-beating Choose to Play. The whole record bleeds with positivity and a new found enthusiasm for pop with power.
On Researching the Blues you can’t help but get caught up in the mood. Redd Kross are clearly back because they have the songs and the inspiration to reset and restart. Let’s hope there isn’t another fifteen year break before the next record.