REDD KROSS: Oh Canada!: CS

I dug the original Red Cross 12” when I was a high school sophomore, but quickly bailed on the band when 1982’s Born Innocent failed to meet my stringent aesthetic requirements. After the name change and years of apathy on my part, Neurotica at least caught my attention, although I didn’t worship as self-abasingly at its shimmering confluence of Partridge and Manson family influences as many of my friends did. I didn’t really start liking Redd Kross again, in any serious fashion, until 1990’s Third Eye, which I adored. If you ask me, Redd Kross’s apex of creative excellence runs from about Third Eye through 1992’s Phaseshifter, including that weird 10” with the Styrofoam head on the cover, the live 10”, and whatever I’m forgetting—early ‘90s, basically. As fate and the roll of Certs that rules the universe would have it, side one of this 1997 live cassette draws heavily on material from that particular sweet spot, with a loud, full sound bearing additional appeal for the purists who might’ve found some of the production flourishes of that period a bit on the cloying side (if you told me this wasn’t really recorded live, I’d probably believe you. However, if you told me it really was recorded live, I’d believe you, too. I’m a reasonable man). Side two gets a bit more overblown, and is kinda their KISS Alive! side 3, which I suppose has some manner of esoteric appeal, vague though it may be. All the same, I think that first side’s solid gold, man. Whatever they paid Reuben Kincaid to run sound, double it! BEST SONG: “Lady in the Front Row.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Switchblade Sister.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Remastered for CD by Dustin Moonshine, EMI.Rev. Nørb (Burger)