Entertainment Weekly (3/17/95, p.90) - "...[The Muff's] two-year hiatus now seems like time well invested in more considered, sophisticated songwriting....ought to convince any newcomers that these are no Johnny-come-latelies..." - Rating: A-
Q (8/95, p.130) - 3 Stars - Good - "...they're in a direct line of descent from such as Shoes and The Sneakers, traditional power-poppers whose primary objective is to deliver catchy lyric hooks via memorable tunes played to the max....their potential is vast."
Option (7-8/95, pp.122-124) - "...It's old school the way Green Day loves the Clash; it's pop the way the Ramones love the Beach Boys...the band is as tight as a new pair of fishnets..."
Musician (6/95, pp.74-75) - "...take a sentimental journey to the late '70s, with soaring, tangy anthems guaranteed to send old-timers to their Buzzcocks 45s....Shattuck punctuates her bratty, androgynous vocals with a petulant howl that's...thrilling..."
The Muffs: Kim Shattuck (vocals, guitar); Ronnie Barnett (bass); Roy McDonald (drums).
Additional personnel: Jim LaSpesa, Kristen Shattuck, Steve McDonald.
Personnel: Kim Shattuck (vocals, guitar); Roy McDonald (drums).
Audio Mixers: Jerry Finn; Rob Cavallo.
Liner Note Authors: Kim Shattuck; Ronnie Barnett; Roy McDonald.
Illustrators: Ed Fotheringham; Kim Shattuck.
Photographers: Alberto Tolot; Ken Schles.
The Muffs ascended to the majors in 1993, "discovered" by the same producer as Green Day. However, the three-piece L.A. band's brand of fevered rock, as revealed on 1995 Reprise debut BLONDER AND BLONDER, while certainly not short on hooks, betrayed much more complexity than your standard pop punk act. While the simple, bouncy, sing-a-long pop of "Sad Tomorrow" should have found a home in MTV heavy rotation, and "Agony" would have deftly followed "Longview" in any alt radio set, the rest of the record subtly bobs from the Runaways scream of "Oh Nina" to the barroom rockabilly of "Red Eyed Troll" to the '50s balladry of "End It All." A diverse record, doomed to be lost in the shuffle, BLONDER AND BLONDER is nevertheless a standard of what pop punk should be, an ever-evolving cavalcade of clashing ideas.