Andy Gill on albums: Red Kross - Show World Island 524275-2

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The Independent Culture
ust as you don't have to be black to play the blues, you don't have to be British to play Britpop, as Los Angeles anglophiles Redd Kross demonstrate with Show World. As with their esteemed colleagues The Plimsouls, it's more a matter of attitude and having a Lennon-esque nasal twang to front the band.

Obsession helps too, and Redd Kross have that by the truckload. Titles like "One Chord Progression" and "Teen Competition" give some indication of how resolutely they stick to the hermetic world of pop culture. And as the Beatle-esque little burst of sped-up backwards tape in "Get Out of Myself" suggests, even their "experiments" are pre-digested. It could be tiresome, were their enthusiasm not matched by a genuine gift for pop hooks and a sense of history: if there's a better evocation than Redd Kross's "Mess Around" of that moment when Jim McGuinn first heard The Searchers and invented folk-rock, I've yet to hear it.