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  • Merge Records

Merge doesn't release their label debut until next Tuesday, but you can listen to Rehearsing the Blues now at NPR Music. It's their first record in 15 years, and Redd Kross doesn't appear to have missed a step. I wrote about the title track in this post, and it was fun to read what others had to say about the band.

birdy num num: i must have seen them play neurotica a million times and let me tell you, that record just rules. they were doing 'grunge' way before grunge was uttered by those folks at sub pop.

In speaking with friends, I found that everyone has their own favorite album. As first-gen L.A. punks, there's a lot of material from which to choose, to say nothing of the Tater Totz alter-ego or their appearances in the films of Allison Anders.*

* Grace of My Heart (1996), Sugar Town (1999), and Things Behind the Sun (2001).

I gave Rehearsing the Blues a quick listen this morning before work, and it helped to get me going, so I count that as a recommendation (it'll be interesting to see if it sounds as good as 7pm as it does at 7am; I'm guessing it will).

Throughout the 10 tracks, their signature sound is in full effect, and they haven't let age, time, or "maturity" slow them down: the Lennon-McCartney harmonies ("Taxman"), the Big Star guitar interplay ("Back of a Car"), and the sticky-sweet Bazooka Joe hooks (the entirety of Heaven Tonight and Desolation Boulevard).

In my mind's eye, I can see Kim Fowley listening to this thing with a blissed-out look on his face—and that would be quite a feat, since the musician-producer-raconteur's visage has been frozen into the same glower for 40 years now.

Mostly, I hope longtime fans will be equally enthusiastic, that the McDonalds will gain some new listeners, and that Merge will sell a few records. They deserve it.

Redd Kross plays Chop Suey FOR FREE on September 7, 2012. 9pm, 21+ (sponsor: Sailor Jerry Rum). With Dante vs. Zombies and DJ Brian Foss.
Register here.