BY FRED MILLS
This veteran (since ’91) L.A. combo still makes a deliriously loud pop-punk sound, and the fact that it’s been absent from the record bins for a decade makes the racket all that more righteous. Whoop De Doo finds feisty frontwoman Kim Shattuck abetted by longtime Muffsmen Roy McDonald and Ronnie Barnett on a dozen hi-nrg, tuneful gems with the same kind of vim ‘n’ vigor that marked their teenage selves’ efforts. Raise your hand if you remember their ‘90s classic Blonder and Blonder.
The tropes are endearingly familiar, as befits an old musical friend: hi-nrg buzzsaw pop (“Weird Boy Next Door” and “Take a Take a Me,” wherein Shattuck snarls and howls in her best two-packs-a-day rasp to out-Love Courtney Love); sassy, thrashy, anthemic punk (“Where Did I Go Wrong,” “Because You’re Sad”); British Invasion-meets-Nuggets garage (“Paint By Numbers” and album standout, the Who/Kinks-esque “Like You Don’t See Me”). The energy on display is infectious, giving this trio a larger-than-life oomph.
To quote a great musical philosopher, there’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on. In retrospect, it’s easy to see why Shattuck was the wrong “fit” for the Pixies during her short-lived tenure last year as Kim Deal’s replacement (recall that she was fired from the band by proxy following a tour). When she walks into the room, the operative term instantly becomes “fun,” something the dour, balding real estate agents of the Pixies haven’t had since Kurt Cobain died. Muffs fans, then, are the ultimate winners here, as it sounds like Shattuck & Co. are having the collective time of their life.
DOWNLOAD: “Weird Boy Next Door,” “Paint By Numbers”