Dubbed Definitely Not a Red Kross EP, the new 7-inch EP, out tomorrow on Atlanta’s Chunklet Industries, is a six-song cover of – yep, uh huh, you guessed it – Redd Kross’ high-octane debut EP from 1980. Though the original EP was released as a “Red Cross” 12-inch shortly after the McDonalds birthed the Cross from the ashes of The Tourists, the new version is a modern work-over, even if it sounds thoroughly steeped in late 70s punk mythos. The Gotobeds capture the youthful vigor of Red Cross – were the brothers McDonald even out of middle school in 1980? – but flesh things out with modern details, like guitar solos and grungy bridges as informed by Pavement as they are by Black Flag or Circle Jerks. Steve would be proud; Steve should be proud.
One of the obvious standouts on the too-short EP remains the punk anthem “Annette’s Got the Hits,” with the choppy Thee Mighty Caesars guitars giving way to muted dismay, and there’s not a dud throughout, which is a good thing, since the 7-inch is over in the blink of an eye. Redd Kross knew to keep its songs short – the longest track here runs 1:26 – and The Gotobeds are wise not to clutter the landscape; it lends a Minutemen-like audacity and immediacy to the proceedings.
This is The Gotobeds’ second between-LPs affair this year alone, and it falls about a month after the release of the excellent odds-and-sods collection, Fucking in the Future +5, on Comedy Minus One. The Gotobeds clearly are making statements here and ones worth repeating – this is a band that is not satisfied containing their finer moments only to studio projects. Can’t wait for the next Sub Pop offering to get your blast of 21st century punk? Catch ‘em live. I’ll be at Gooski’s waiting for ya.