The Muffs - Whoop Dee Doo - LP
Often described as a pop-punk band, the Muffs both defined and transcended that subgenre. Led by guitarist, singer, and songwriter Kim Shattuck, the Muffs played rock & roll that was fast, loud, and cheerfully snotty, but they also had an uncommon gift for melody and pop hooks, with the sweet and sour sides of the music eagerly complementing one another. Shattuck was also blessed with a great rock & roll voice, sounding sweetly girlish or culminating in a throaty roar, and she could write lyrics that were deeply serious and introspective without sacrificing the drive of the band when they hit fifth gear. With Shattuck usually joined by bassist Ronnie Barnett and drummer Roy McDonald, the Muffs earned a reputation as a first-rate live act before they were signed to Warner Bros. for their self-titled 1993 debut album, which hit just the right balance of punch and polish, while the follow-up, 1995's Blonder and Blonder (which introduced the definitive lineup of the group) was nearly as good and just as enjoyable. Moving to the indie labels after being dropped by Warner Bros., their recording schedule became more sporadic, but 2014's Whoop Dee Doo was a late-career triumph that ranked with their finest work, and 2019's No Holiday was a bittersweet and emotional goodbye, completed as Shattuck was struggling with a fatal case of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.