11 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Fifteen years after its last studio album, L.A.'s Redd Kross returns with music as catchy and infectious as its early work back in the '80s, when bassist Steve McDonald was just 11 years old and guitarist brother Jeff was all of 15. The punkish aggression is still here, but it's with a twist of finesse, with stronger songwriting and smartly arranged harmonies and instrumentation. Don't let the "Blues" in the title give you the wrong impression; these aren't Canned Heat outtakes or anything. Redd Kross still makes punk-pop with remnants of The Beatles, The Raspberries, and Ramones (who influenced Redd Kross) and Dinosaur Jr. and countless alternative bands (whom Redd Kross influenced) ringing through their gorgeous attack. "Uglier" crunches long and hard, with a fuzzed-out wah solo cranking things over the edge. "Dracula's Daughter" rebuilds the sound of Phil Spector girl-group pop via The Beach Boys, with a distortion pedal. The group's production has never been stronger or more powerful. "Meet Frankenstein" makes quick work at less than two minutes, offering an earnest pop melody with shades of Matthew Sweet. It's like Redd Kross has never been gone.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Fifteen years after its last studio album, L.A.'s Redd Kross returns with music as catchy and infectious as its early work back in the '80s, when bassist Steve McDonald was just 11 years old and guitarist brother Jeff was all of 15. The punkish aggression is still here, but it's with a twist of finesse, with stronger songwriting and smartly arranged harmonies and instrumentation. Don't let the "Blues" in the title give you the wrong impression; these aren't Canned Heat outtakes or anything. Redd Kross still makes punk-pop with remnants of The Beatles, The Raspberries, and Ramones (who influenced Redd Kross) and Dinosaur Jr. and countless alternative bands (whom Redd Kross influenced) ringing through their gorgeous attack. "Uglier" crunches long and hard, with a fuzzed-out wah solo cranking things over the edge. "Dracula's Daughter" rebuilds the sound of Phil Spector girl-group pop via The Beach Boys, with a distortion pedal. The group's production has never been stronger or more powerful. "Meet Frankenstein" makes quick work at less than two minutes, offering an earnest pop melody with shades of Matthew Sweet. It's like Redd Kross has never been gone.

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