Through the loss of one of its two female members and the addition of Dallas homeboy Roy McDonald (ex-Green Engine) on drums, the Muffs' fine pop punk never misses a beat. Guitarist/vocalist Kim Shattuck could find great melodies and catchy songs in a stack of Pussy Galore albums, and Blonder proves that the three-chord thrill of the Muffs' 1993 debut was no fluke.
Shattuck's greatest asset is her understanding of what makes music like this work - simplicity and brevity are all well and good, but it doesn't mean a whole lot if you can't write a soaring chorus or snappy guitar lead. Each song on Blonder is as unforgettable as the last, each one as annoyingly memorable as the next. Shattuck's raspy voice retains a vigor while never quite descending into riot-grrl self-parody. And as seemingly detestable as the prospect of an acoustic Muffs song might sound, the band even manages to pull one of those off quite nicely in the album-closing "Just a Game."
You better believe there's nothing original about the Muffs - for the self-serious, just refer to them as a "guilty pleasure." With two eminently listenable releases of guitar-pop, Shattuck shouldn't have to apologize to anybody, save perhaps fate, who happens to have given us the Muffs at a time when a lot of less talented, similarly inclined bands are feeling the whip of backlash.
Copyright 1995 The Met --Revised April 20, 1995--
Blonder And Blonder
THE LAST TIME I saw guitarist Kim Shattuck she was in
her underwear--on stage, that is, with The Pandoras. I
last sat with drummer Roy McDonald at a Denny's after a
Red Kross show, and I had no idea they'd later team up
in what Reprise calls "Everyone's favorite little
crunchy, pop-punk band that you've never heard of." With
infectious Ramones-meets-Kinks treats like "On And On,"
"Won't Come Out To Play" and "I'm Confused," this trio
(completed by bassist Ronnie Barnett) might just knock
Green Day off their artificially colored poser throne.
This here's the real stuff, kids, and you're reading
this in a newspaper so it must be true, right? It was
really good underwear, by the way.
Copyright 1995 DesertNet