“It was about a quarter past midnight — 2012 had just gone — when singer and guitarist Jeff McDonald of Los Angeles band Redd Kross burst out with a joyous, simple, one-word declaration that captured the mood at the storied Alexandria in downtown Los Angeles.
“Yes!” he shouted into the microphone after banging his head and guitar chords through “Blow You a Kiss in the Wind” on early Tuesday morning, well aware of the power that he and his brother Steve’s band had just generated. Performing a double bill with fellow Los Angeles band (and long-ago Atlantic Records label-mates) the Melvins, Redd Kross greeted 2013 with long hair flying and the kind of big, distorted chords, singalong choruses and head-banging ditties that made them one of Los Angeles’ greatest punk bands when they rose from Hawthorne in 1980 alongside kindred spirits Black Flag and Circle Jerks.”
This week’s question is a simple one: What was your favorite song of 2012?
Jason Heller I gave Researching The Blues, the latest album by L.A. punk survivor Redd Kross, a decent grade in my A.V. Clubreview back in August. But if I’d only been judging the album’s best song, “Stay Away From Downtown,” it would have blown the top off the grading scale. Immaculately crafted, leanly muscled, and sparkling with jangle, the instant power-pop anthem sums up everything the McDonald brothers have been aiming for with Redd Kross since the band’s 1982 debut,Born Innocent. The McDonalds aren’t kids anymore, but they bottle the lightning of wild-in-the-streets youth in “Stay Away From Downtown.” The song’s euphoric, Kiss-adoring video doesn’t hurt.