The Muffs (Omnivore)
4 stars out of 5
California outfit The Muffs were at the forefront of the pop-punk movement in the early 1990s and their 1993 self-titled debut albums remains one of the cornerstones of the genre. The 16-track platter holds up remarkably well some 22 years later and the folks at Omnivore are introducing The Muffs to a new generation of listeners with this remastered and expanded reissue.
“This album did find its audience,” note Muffs bassist Ronnie Barnett, who was part of the original four-person lineup with Kim Shattuck, Melanie Vammen and Criss Crass. “It has its flaws, but it’s never gone out of print. It may or may not have too many songs, and there may have been too many cooks in the studio, but it is what it is — our first album.”
The reissue features the original record’s 16 songs and awhopping 10 bonus tracks, including eight previously unreleased demo recordings. There are also expansive new liner notes from Shattuck and Barnett, making it worth the upgrade.
The energy of the music explodes out of the speakers from the outset, with The Muffs especially effective on keepers “Lucky Guy,” “Everywhere I Go,” “Better Than Me,” “Every Single Thing,” “Eye to Eye” and “All for Nothing.” Among the bonus tracks, demos of “Do You Want Her,” “I Don’t Expect It,” “Ethyl My Love” and “Saying Goodbye to Phil” are the ones you’ll remember. (Jeffrey Sisk)