Home > Album Reviews > Reviewed: Redd Kross – Researching the Blues

Reviewed: Redd Kross – Researching the Blues

by Brian Berry

How long does it take to craft a flawless power-pop album? After hearing Researching the Blues, Redd Kross’ 6th full-length album in their three decade career, you’ll find the answer: 15 years.

Over their critically praised yet criminally overlooked career by the mainstream, the McDonald brothers of Hawthorne (the same town that brought you the Beach Boys!) have tested various rock genres from the snotty garage-punk on 1982’s Born Innocent to the proto-grunge classic Neurotica from 1987 (Mudhoney and Nirvana must’ve had Redd Kross on repeat in their formative years). RK’s latest masterpiece is an infectious, stripped down 32 minutes of pure ‘70s-influenced power-pop that stands up to-and often above-the best work by Cheap Trick and Teenage Fanclub. Stand out cuts include the single “Stay Away From Downtown”, the Stones-esque “One of the Good Ones” and “Hazel Eyes,” which closes out the album. There really isn’t a weak track or a wasted second on this though.

Luckily, Merge Records has taken on this album so we can trust Researching the Blues won’t disappear into obscurity like much of Redd Kross’ back catalog. Can’t wait for the next Thermals record? Are your Big Star records warped? Wish Fountains of Wayne put out more than one great record? You should buy Researching the Blues and make sure to crank it up.

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