Redd Kross just released its first album in 15 years, which we honestly didn’t think was going to happen. Researching The Blues (Merge) is as close to our Platonic ideal of what a rock ‘n’ roll record should sound like: punk-rock fury mixed with power-pop hooks and tinged with a fringe of psychedelia. Researching embodies the best of what the band has done since it started out 34 years ago (during the first wave of L.A. punk) and continued throughout the ’80s and ’90s while taking perpendicular approaches to the prevailing trends of the era. In an age where the tenets of genre conventions and the rigidity that once separated sounds and scenes are no longer relevant, Redd Kross returns as prodigal sons. Brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald, Roy McDonald (no relation) and Jason Shapiro will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new feature on them.
Shapiro: I started with The Colony. A group of 10 are living in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles in a warehouse. They have to survive for a month with limited supplies. Some of the occupants just happen to be scientists and mechanics and make some genius contraptions to get electricity and clean water from the L.A. River. It was kind of unrealistic as that usually wouldn’t be the case but was still enjoyable. Season two was a whole different cast filmed in Louisiana. This was a little more real as it was more common folk. I didn’t like it at first, as everyone was not that ambitious, but then they had to step up in order to survive the harsh conditions.
Next was Out Of The Wild: Venezuela: 12 people were dropped in the Amazon with a map and limited supplies and had to find their way to civilization. At any time, you could press your search beacon, and a copter would rescue you. It was interesting watching who could stick it out the longest and endure the conditions.
Next was Out Of Alaska. Same show, different cast, but in the snow. Same thing I didn’t like at first, as everyone seemed kind of weak, but it became interesting watching these people step it up when they got desperate. There was a lot of animal hunting, and being a vegetarian; it made me think of what I would do in this situation. Would I kill and eat meat if I had to?
Next was Dual Survival, which featured a shoeless hippie from survivalist Arizona and a jarhead military guy. It was fun to watch them interact and work out their differences in order to survive the different environments they were dropped off in until they found civilization. It would be cool to learn how to start a fire spinning a stick into another piece of wood, which was showed in a couple of these shows. I think society has become so reliant on the system to provide everything we need. If the system ever collapses, we are so fucked!
Video after the jump.