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Redd Kross - Beyond the Door (Merge)

Redd Kross - Beyond the Door
4 September 2019

Cheap Trick and KISS disciples Redd Kross deliver another set of left-of-center ditties that run a gamut of creative conquests, just like band mainstays, brothers Jeff and Steven McDonald. No stone is ever left unturned on a Redd Kross record, auditory or otherwise. Boasting hardcore punk, glittery glam, and melodic metal in just their first three full-lengths, all before the year 1990!

Beyond the Door is a party, as evident by record opener and over-the-top, cheese glam offering “The Party”, equally bizarre and addicting is “Fantsastico Roberto” and another epitomized song ‘character’ of sorts, “Jone Hoople”. The purpose of this record is having fun with guitars, drums, voice, and a brain. That’s also been a sort of mantra for the band since its inception in the late ’70s, a “total commitment to having the best f*cking time we can have while we’re all still here”. That IS “the Party”!

Jeff McDonald is a master of deft guitar riffs and sinewy melodies beholden to the voice that’s been the forefront of the band’s sound for years, Steven McDonald a low-end theorist and overall bass guitar legend, currently a member of Melvins as well. Rounding out the record on second guitar and drums are Jason Shapiro and the almighty Dale Crover (Melvins, OFF!) respectively. The latter two both long-time band contributors, but first time Redd Kross record makers in the studio on this effort.

The album’s name may be taken from a favorite Italian horror flick of the brothers’ McDonald but this is a good time rock record through and through with a few over the top moments of glee. A doting father myself, Steven’s song for his son, “No One Like You”, may not be his first time singing on a Redd Kross record but it’s assuredly the first time one of his songs brought water to thine eyes. A tearjerker in all the positive senses nonetheless as he and wife Anna Waronker bop along to the hilarious come beyond heartfelt lyrics paying homage to their son who really is rock’n’roll royalty. Anna being the daughter of legendary producer/executive Lenny Waronker, sister of a lauded session drummer, and a kick-ass frontwoman in her own right with her band That Dog.

The band hits the road for a fall run in support of the record with the Melvins. Both Steven and Dale Crover pulling double duty on this run but I’d guess the lines between these two bands will be blurred for the entirety of the trip as Melvins frontman and guitar god Buzz Osborne guests on the record too. The reality is nothing compliments the mighty Melvins thunder like the luscious weirdness of Redd Kross rock’n’roll. C’mon down to “The Party Underground” where freaks rejoice for just the second record in 22 years from the band that’s bridged every gap in rock’n’roll and “Beyond the Door”.