After their self-titled debut album was released in 1993, the wheels nearly feel off for The Muffs. The band went from a foursome to a threesome when rhythm guitarist, Melanie Vammen, and drummer, Criss Crass, left the band. This didn’t slow The Muffs down at all, in fact little changed for Kim Shattuck (lead vocals and guitar), Ronnie Barnett (bass), and new drummer Roy McDonald (drums).
Originally released on April 11, 1995 on Reprise Records, The Muffs sophomore album, ‘Blonder and Blonder’ showed no signs of a slump at all. The trio came back just as fiery and punk as they did with their self-titled debut two years earlier.
Kim Shattuck is a triple threat with her stellar guitar licks, punkish songwriting, and melodic vocals. Plus she’s got one of the most blood curdling screams in rock. “Oh Nina” is the perfect example of the two coming together.
The 14 songs on ‘Blonder and Blonder’ are like a heavy weight fight, “Just a Game” with quick punches to the face, “I Need a Face” and “Funny Face,” a few jabs to the gut, “Sad Tomorrow” and “Ethyl My Love” until the trio goes in for the knockout, “End It All.”
If there was ever a rematch, it would be the 2016 re-issue of ‘Blonder and Blonder’ from Omnivore Records. The album is just as badass as it was 20-plus years ago, but also includes a cornucopia of bonus material. Included in the seven bonus tracks are a pair of tracks from the UK “Sad Tomorrow “ single — “Goodnight Now” and “Become Undone.” But wait, there is more. This re-issue gives you five previously unreleased demos.
The 1990s saw an explosion of exciting, new rock bands and The Muffs deserve to be ranked right up with there with the likes of Pearl Jam, Belly, L7, Soundgarden, and Nirvana.