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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » Redd Kross - 1990 Third Eye
 
Redd Kross - 1990 Third Eye



ARTIST: Redd Kross
ALBUM: Third Eye
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: A2 82148
YEAR: 1990
CD REISSUE: 2008, Rhino

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jeff McDonald - vocals, guitars * Steven McDonald - bass, vocals * Robert Hecker - guitars, vocals

Additional Players: Victor Indrizzo - drums, vocals * Peter LeVine - keyboards * Susan Cowsill, Vanessa Bell Armstrong - harmony and background vocals * Mary Bernard, Paula Salvatore - backing vocals * Brian McCloud - percussion * Charles Davis - trumpet * Gregory Alper - saxophone

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Faith Healer * 02 Annie's Gone * 03 I Don't Know How To Be Your Friend * 04 Shonen Knife * 05 Bubblegum Factory * 06 Where I Am Today * 07 Zira (Call Out My Name) * 08 Love Is Not Love * 09 1976 * 10 Debbie & Kim * 11 Elephant Flares

WEBLINKS: www.reddkross.com


Background
I wonder what we were all doing when we were just fourteen years old? While I am still listening to the same music, but objects like my ZX Spectrum have been packed away long ago, and I no longer qualify for Wootton Rangers under 14's football team, although my mid-season transfer from Kempston Colts helped Wootton to secure the runners ups position, but you really didn't want to know that. Anyway we can be pretty sure we weren't opening for Black Flag and looking to have a career in music. Well the core of this group being the brothers McDonald certainly knew where their destiny lay. After a number a releases they hit the big time signing for Atlantic and with the advantage of MTV showing a number of videos made an impression. Whether they managed to build on this and go forward is questionable but this and the return journey with 2012 release, 'Researching The Blues' still signify a group that have the capability to make a difference.


The Songs
The opening of 'The Faith Healer' and 'Annie's Gone' just wipe the floor, together they are a perfect flowery garden of summer tunes. The happiness of 'The Faith Healer' with that sixties drum hit and the cries of anguish of 'Annie's Gone'. This track alone has a cruel whine of the lyrics and vocals has The Monkees wish they never tried pushing that bed through the streets and while that was a stupid idea here we find a piece of immaculate song writing. If you think about it, Redd Kross could have been the sequel to the TV series by The Monkees. They could also cut it when they slowed it down, the beautiful 'I Don't Know How To Be Your Friend' which begins with a Crosby Stills and Nash feel, but takes a rock turn at the chorus, obviously the Neil Young aspect has entered the room and making it all a bit more risky. The ferocious force that is 'Shonen Knife', power pop going thrash, just makes you want to start kicking the drums over the floor in true Keith Moon style, it's a good frustration letting go. While totally at odds with the pop signals of 'Bubblegum Factory'. A Jefferson Airplane 'White Rabbit' bass opening to the jangle of 'Where Am I Today', but the chorus is the probably the most rock oriented on offer. Some songs always stick in my memory, while more recent observations of this album has shown the beauty or should that be the usefulness of the iPod and compact disc has lead me even further to appreciate the latter half of this album, which let's face it if you were to spin the black the circle version those songs are tucked away on side two. Because it's where I spent more time listening, to recapture the likes of 'Zira (Call Out My Name)' and '1976'. Let's take the first of these; 'Zira' and the brackets are virtually important here, why so good? Yes on its own this is a speeding power pop classic, but what makes it special is just down to simple timing, the gap, just mere seconds between the lyrics 'Call Out' and 'My Name'. Still with me? I'm trying to expose these small details that secure this song as a work of genius not simply just good. With '1976', well the stand out is the impression of Paul Stanley, I was convinced it was the Star Child, he never sounding so good, if this article only moves you to check out one thing about this album, then please let it be it this part of the tune. The backing wonderful repetitiveness of 'Love Is Not Love' in the chorus is perfect, while the 'Debbie & Kim' remind me of the likes of The Dickies performing 'The Banana Splits'. Sometimes this is like melting together of the soft bits of Kiss and Cheap Trick, but talking 70's era mind you.


In Summary
A lesson in killer hooks, as smooth as porcelain, it doesn't contain an engine of studio tricks and gadgets, that itself is a big plus point, as it means there is less to go wrong. After this they would release 'Phaseshifter', which I never really got to grips with and with my filing system which can only be described as 'haphazard'; I can only conclude I sold it. Although with my interest rediscovered I have started to reinvest and buying back my shares in the McDonald company, and make special mention to the track 'Stoned' from their 1997 release, 'Show World' and tell me which county of America are those keyboards sound from, and I don't mean Boston. Whatever way the deck of cards fall this album produces eleven aces, OK it may have the odd joker in the way of 'Bubblegum Factory', but I've always found it difficult to find a more complete album in this genre. Were they the best in the power pop genre? Well I would love to see a one mile drag race between Redd Kross and Jellyfish, I wonder who would win.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on June 15 2014 09:56:57
We shouldn't forget Enuff Znuff as well, who were major exponents of this style back in the same timeframe.
#2 | Nick C on June 17 2014 14:08:54
I'm bias...Jellyfish would win the race Grin - Great album this though, you can't really go wrong with a Redd Kross release.
#3 | Eric on June 20 2014 12:39:39
Funny, I have a neighbor who has a Redd Kross/ Mekons concert poster hanging in his window. Jellyfish and Redd Kross toured together just prior to the release of 'Bellybutton'. Would have a heck of a show I imagine...
 
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