Once the kiddie corps of the Los Angeles alternative rock scene, Redd Kross has grown up--but luckily not too much.
This is a band that used to be caught up in youth’s snide irreverence, cracking pop-insider jokes at every turn. But on its new album, “Third Eye,” Redd Kross--which has been on the circuit more than a decade--has expanded its outlook by adding a serious dimension.
On stage Wednesday night at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, the anguished, Replacements-like “Where I Am Today” received a particularly clenched performance, proving that Redd Kross is now a band intent on delving deeper into pop’s possibilities.
Even so, Redd Kross--willingly flipped to its back pages and doodled all over them with a purple magic marker. A big chunk of the 80-minute show was devoted to lighthearted garage-rock mayhem and fond cover-band spoofs of such ‘70s pop icons as Paul McCartney, Elton John and Fleetwood Mac. Like an ethnic humorist who points out the foibles of the tribe but cushions the joke with a knowing warmth, Redd Kross showed its affection for the music it made fun of. With its smart influences (Doors, Cream, Husker Du), second-billed Screaming Trees could be the smart hard-rock fan’s answer to the Cult. Guitarist Gary Lee Conner combines the girth of Leslie West and the hyperactivity of Angus Young--a dangerous and delightful combination. Both bands play again tonight at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood.