Music By Vice: REDD KROSS AND SIDE EYES REMIND US HOW BADASS THE GO-GO’S ACTUALLY WERE
SoCal alt-rock legends Redd Kross have been snarling around for more than three decades, and now they’ve teamed up with the next generation for a split 7 inch with The Side Eyes, a punk outfit headed up by Astrid McDonald, daughter of Redd Kross frontman Jeff McDonald. The two bands’ new collaboration, Songs That Chargo Taught Us (out July 29 via In the Red), features covers of tracks penned by Go-Go’s great Charlotte Caffey. Caffey, a.k.a. “Chargo,” just so happens to be Jeff’s wife and Astrid’s mother, and we bet you feel pretty bad about whatever lame gift you last gave your mom right about now.
The tracks were produced by Jeff’s borther, Steve McDonald (Redd Kross, OFF!) at the Whiskey Kitchen in LA, making the release an all-around (super talented) family affair. Side A features The Side Eyes’ cutthroat rendition of “Don’t Talk To Me,” originally performed by Caffey’s pre-Go-Go’s punk outfit, The Eyes. “It has always been one of my favorite songs that absolutely deserved a resurrection. I love its simplicity, power, and sheer angst,” Astrid says, describing the song Caffey wrote at roughly the same age she is now, 21. “We had been covering [it] before the concept of the split 7 inch was devised. It went over so well at every show we played it. It really felt like we had brought new life to such a cool song so we knew we had to see that through. We had originally recorded it with Steve without a clear intention of what we were going to do with it.”
On Side B, Redd Kross rips through the Go-Go’s classic “Screaming”, a track “Redd Kross felt like they had wanted to cover all of these years,” Astrid says. “My dad always asks my mom if she remembers seeing him, the 6’5″ green-haired teenager standing in the front row of [the Go-Go’s] early shows…Redd Kross decided it would be a great way to honor my mom’s songwriting and kickassness if they recorded a punk song of hers.”