If you’re a fan of the recent 90s pop-punk revival then you’ve gotta get all up in The Muffs. Lead by centrepiece Kim Shattuck for well over 20 years, their angsty, witty, angry brand of punk is poised to make its glorious return.
The Muffs have been around longer than some of you have been alive. For memories of Clueless, listen to their old stuff. For those who like it fresh, hear their new.
The Muffs came together in California in 1991 under the eye of Shattuck, who – after cutting her teeth on bass for the all-female 80s band The Pandoras – promoted herself to guitar and frontwoman status. After releasing a few singles and EP’s independently they were signed to Warner Brothers by 1992, when every A&R department was looking for the new Nirvana.
They released their self-titled debut the next year, and went on to release three more albums through the rest of the 90s. After a five year break, the group released their last album Really Really Happy in 2004. If you’re wondering how you haven’t heard any of The Muffs before, rest assured you probably have; their cover of Kids In America featured in the hilarious 1995 “Oh shit Paul Rudd was in this?!” romp Clueless.
A criminally underrated catalogue of straightforward pop punk, The Muffs have churned out an abundance of Ramones-esque 3-chord rockers and catchy rhythms, as well as the odd gentle melodic number. In July 2013 Shattuck was announced as the replacement bassist for The Pixies on their European tour, but was kicked out by November.
She attributes her dismissal to getting overly enthusiastic at a show and jumping into the crowd, which apparently isn’t true Pixies style. However, it sparked a revival for The Muffs, becoming more active on the road around their native state. Having released a first single, they’re now well lubricated to release their sixth studio album – their first in a decade – in July, titled Whoop Dee Doo – out through Burger Records.
The first taste, Up and Down Around, sees The Muffs returning to their 90’s form, refusing to abandon their punk roots as many from the era have done. With a crashy cymbal intro, brooding bass and distorted chords, it is classic Kim; her roaring voice sounding a little more mature but just as fierce. Throw in a wailing solo for good measure and any new fans will see why the Muffs are one of the 90s indie punk greats. You’ve got a few weeks to discover the back-catalogue before The Muffs reveal some more.
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