From the Redd Kross website in their biography:
Their self-aware pre-spandex Glam bubblegum garage psychedelic Cheap Trick/Kiss/Revolver post-Kim Fowley rock and roll. Degenerate, sweet: tongues in cheek, song-long winks.
Redd Kross is a band that has always been the bridesmaid, never the bride. They’ve been on the sidelines of (deserving) big rock stardom for decades, even sharing Nirvana’s manager when the Seattle band went stratospheric. The McDonald brothers, Jeff on guitar and vocals and Steven on bass and vocals, have been in this band since their teen years and have always stuck to their guns of making super glammy rock with killer melodies, hooks, and musicianship. I myself have always admired them from afar, checking out the occasional song and always liking it. (Adrienne is a fan of The Spirit of ‘76, the cult film featuring Redd Kross and the McDonald brothers in acting rolls, but too hadn’t found the time to explore).
Beyond The Door, however, is like a glitter bomb going off, from start to finish full of KILLER songs, melodies, lyrics (all concerning pop culture and/or trash culture) , and the joy of rock and roll. This record snuck up on me from behind and BOOM! It knocked me over. They start off with the mission statement ‘The Party,’ full of high harmonies and psychedelic Revolver sounding bass and guitar riffs, it zips by at just over two minutes. ‘Fighting’ has a harder, earlier Cheap Trick vibe with a superb chorus. You could hear Robin Zander singing this one for sure. ‘Beyond The Door’ starts off like a Sweet single, bass and ‘yea yea yeas’ with a boogie swagger. It’s sensational, the kind of song other bands fail miserably at, but the McDonalds give it the melody and vocal treatment that puts it right over the plate.
They bring it down for ‘There’s No One Like You,’ a truly pretty ballad that picks up in the middle, giving off a heavy #1 Record Big Star vibe. Pretty tremendous with drummer Dale Crover working it out perfectly. The centerpiece of the record is ‘Ice Cream (Strange And Pleasing)’ one of the catchiest tunes I’ve heard since The Posies first few records. It has a sixties feel, but Redd Kross has absorbed their influences so well this song doesn’t point to one influence. Jason Shapiro on lead guitar gets some amazing string-bending on this one.
‘The Party Underground’ has a great late-60’s feel, a little Beach Boys, a little ? and The Mysterians, and a lot of glam rock, full of twisty lead guitar. ‘What’s A Boy To Do’ starts off all Big Star, exploding into a super-catchy melody. Steven’s bass dominates this one, and he’s just great. Just when I think this record can’t get any better, Redd Kross pulls off a spectacular cover of Sparks’ ‘When Do I Get To Sing My Way,’ a song you couldn’t imagine getting the killer rock treatment. This is fantastic (Steven played bass for Sparks for a few years), fun, and catchy as hell. Again, Redd Kross understands that rock and roll can and should be fun. The Sparks cover is a wonderful way to close what I must say is the record of the year so far. See you at the Redd Kross shows in Carrboro, Charlotte, and Athens!