Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Redd Kross - Hot Issue

I picked this up at the Redd Kross show a couple of weeks ago at the Bunkhouse along with their two latest releases. Initially self-released, this one is a compilation of rare and unreleased tracks, most of which I had never heard, ranging from the early 80's to the new millennium. In fact, more than half of the cuts hadn't seen light of day before - at least not these particular versions, some of which are remixes/ remasters and others are completely new.

Most of the tracks sound like outtakes from the latest records, although why they were left off is anyone's guess, as they are easily as strong as the other takes. The opening "Insatiable Kind" is a perfect example of their own brand of 70's power-pop'n'roll, somewhat reminiscent of their terrific "Bubblegum Factory" from Third Eye. Steve takes lead vocals for this version of Kim Fowley's "Motorboat", Jeff sings "Pop Show" (originally done with Astrid McDonald), "Take It Home" has odd hints of reggae rhythms and bits of electronic drums, an early version of "That Girl" is an energetic rocker that easily would have fit on the likes of Neurotica, and side one closes with "It's a Scream", a keyboard-led, kinda-new-wavey, kinda movie-soundtrack-y bit of Redd Kross-ness.

"Switchblade Sister" is a fave of mine that originally appeared on Sympathy For the Record Industry's fantastic RK 10", 2500 Redd Kross Fans Can't Be Wrong, their early punky/trashy take on the NY Dolls' "Puss'n'Boots" had previously been released on the Hell Comes to Your House comp, which makes it by far the earliest cut here, which then fast-forwards to one of the newest tracks, a different take on "Don't Take Your Baby Downtown", then the Beatles-esque "Moon Sun" and "Starlust" (nice astrological combination there) before the grand finale, a piano ballad (also somewhat later Beatles-y) "Born To Love You".

Really superior comp - everything here is top-notch - nothing sounds like after thoughts or throwaways. Well worth picking up for any RK fan!