When Redd Kross released their ‘Researching The Blues‘ album in 2012, it gave fans plenty of reasons to celebrate. Not only did that record break a fifteen year recording hiatus, but it was also the band’s best album since 1990’s ‘Third Eye’. In ‘Stay Away From Downtown’, fans were given the ultimate Redd Kross power pop anthem and on material like ‘Dracula’s Daughters’ and ‘Meet Frankenstein’, the band showed they’d lost none of their love for b-movie schlock or high camp. ‘Researching The Blues’ was a fabulous comeback, indeed…and one of the greatest albums of that year.
Something unexpected happened in 2015 when bassist Steven McDonald was invited to join arty sludge legends Melvins. Given that Redd Kross had started out as a trashy punk band and McDonald had moonlighted with OFF! – a brilliant and uncompromising hardcore punk act featuring ex-Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris – perhaps it shouldn’t have been that unexpected, but it’s probably fair to say few people saw that coming. Steve’s place alongside Melvins mainstays Buzz and Dale led to various gloriously mismatched live shows shared between the two bands and by the time Melvins released ‘Pinkus Abortion Technician’ in 2018, McDonald’s influence within the band could very definitely be felt.
Making any kind of successful comeback after a long absence can a tricky prospect. Time can be cruel. All too often, we’ve encountered bands returning to the spotlight after a long absence and wished they’d left their legacy as a rose-tinted memory. For British baroque pop band My Life Story – a cult band from the fringes of Britpop – a full time return to touring in 2012 didn’t just remind the old fans how good they were back at their 90s peak, but high profile gigs at the Star Shaped Festival and a few other places helped to bring them a whole bunch of new supporters.
Following his departure from Rainbow in 1980, Graham Bonnet carried on his musical journey. In 1981 he recorded his fourth solo album (‘Line Up’) and in 1982 replaced Gary Barden as the voice of the Michael Schenker Group. In 1983, Bonnet joined Alcatrazz, with whom he recorded three albums. Their 1985 disc ‘Disturbing The Peace’ (featuring Steve Vai) ranks alongside Rainbow’s ‘Down To Earth’ as a career high point for the prolific vocalist. After brief stints providing vocals for Forcefield (a band featuring his old Rainbow mate Cozy Powell), Pretty Maids and Chris Impelliteri, he landed a job in 1991 as the frontman for an all-star rock band named Blackthorne.
Although Fall fans probably expected reissues of ‘Totale’s Turns (It’s Now Or Never)’, ‘Grotesque (After The Gramme)’ and ‘Slates’ to appear before the end of 2019, this October will actually see something a little further ahead making up volume three of Cherry Red’s extensive Fall Sound Archives reissue series.