Redd Kross at The Greek 7/20/2007
If I had to make a list of my top 100 albums of all time, Redd Kross' Born Innocent would at least make the top 20. I can't even begin to describe how excited I was to learn that this album was going to be performed live as the opening act for Sonic Youth at the Greek. I had to get tickets for the show. Nothing against Sonic Youth, who would have rocked the roof off had there been one. But I have not seen Redd Kross play a set list like this since - oh, around 1985.
Born Innocent takes its name from Linda Blair's cult classic teen-runaway-in-juvie movie. It always amazes me when I remember how young this band was when they recorded this album. Maybe the marriage of punk rock and bubblegum could only have come from that special combination of teenage angst and growing up to the soundtrack of HR Pufnstuf.
Brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald grew up in Hawthorne, home of the Beach Boys, so maybe there is just something in the water. My preference has always been for the more melodic punk rock, and the songs on Born Innocent are just so fucking catchy. They are like cereal commercial catchy. Compared to the hardcore progression that music was yet to take, it's almost hard to believe that this album was punk rock. With a pair of cute, non-threatening-looking brothers and two girls (actually, the girls were kind of threatening-looking) in the band, it's amazing this album did not break through (Really, I have never understood why Redd Kross was not on the cover of Teen Beat every single month).