Album Review: Redd Kross – Beyond The Door

Raucous California rockers Redd Kross have their roots in ’80s punk rock, so it is no surprise that nearly 30 years later, their latest record, Beyond The Door, is chock-full of the same attitude. Out Friday, August 23, on Merge RecordsBeyond The Door comprises eleven boisterous rock tracks, each filled with its own energy as guitar, bass, drums and barely-gritty vocals combine.

109098.jpgEvery track on Beyond The Door has a similarly raucous energy; while not chaotic or frenetic, the music has a controlled enthusiasm exemplified through its animated guitar riffs and tight drum beats. “Fighting,” the second track, features an adrenaline-pumping melody as thick drums hold the track accountable to its structure and a solid guitar almost overpowers the vocals.

The album is a stunning rock and roll record: its gritty vocals are backed by rich, solid guitar riffs and enthusiastic drum beats, and even on mellower tracks (“What’s a Boy to Do”), the same nasal-toned vocals and punk-tinged guitars prevail. This rocking M.O. is perhaps best exemplified on “The Party Underground,” a track that, at first, feels almost like a grungy commercial jingle (“Come on down/To the party underground”). It’s a catchy and percussive track with plenty of bass guitar, and feminine vocals echoing the masculine voice add a different texture to the track until finally, the song closes with a classically cool guitar solo.

Beyond The Door is also the first album on which brothers Jeff and Steven McDonald included guitarist Jason Shapiro and drummer Dale Crover in the recording band; previously, the two had only been part of the live band. That cohesion and the four musicians’ combined decades of musical experience are both evident on Beyond The Door – the album’s rock and roll sound is a classic, but it is also mature and modern rather than outdated.

Photo by Julian Fort.

Beyond The Door is a stunningly disruptive alternative rock album, and though Redd Kross’s nearly 30 years of musical experience are evident in every second of the music, the album does not feel stale; instead, the quartet’s rock and roll is as modern and energetic as ever.

Fans of the band are in luck, however, because not only will Beyond The Door drop on August 23, but Redd Kross will also embark on a lengthy string of tour dates with The Melvins this fall, beginning September 3. See those tour dates and more information here. Redd Kross’s Beyond The Door is out Friday, August 23, on Merge Records, but in the meantime, stream the first four singles via Bandcamp below.

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