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The Muffs: Whoop Dee Doo

Welcome return of SoCal pop-punk’s best kept secret.

No one skews a melody nor boasts a feral scream to clench testicles quite as tightly as Kim Shattuck. Having recently concluded a spirited stint on bass with a reformed Pixies, The Muffs’ preposterously undervalued guitarist, vocalist and sole songwriting creative hub has reformed the band closest to her heart to unleash their first album in a decade.

And yes, it’s fantastic. Just as it should be. True, the band exist in a state of near Ramonic artistic stasis, yet with a modus operandi this faultless, a ‘formulaic’ accusation is rendered more complimentary than derisory. It’s not as good as their eponymous ’93 debut, but then again, what is? But for Warners focussing on Green Day rather than their harder-to-market, femme-fronted label-mates, The Muffs might well have been as big as Dookie (it certainly had the songs).

The Los Angelean trio’s singularly salt ‘n’ sweet, Brill Building popcore can have a tendency to be overly complex (as a one-woman Lennon-McCartney, Goffin-King, Kim could sometimes do with countering chalk to her cheese: editing, honing, crafting, smoothing), that said, it’s the spikes, barbs, caterwauls and tantrums that define The Muffs, set them apart, and make Whoop Dee Doo as essential an album as any you’ll hear all year.

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 19 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977. Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.