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Alert Today Alive Tomorrow

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Album Review

If it's a hummable, whistle-able tune you'd like to teach the world to sing, then here's a disc of candidates, with a few cuts to spare for a hip marching band. A really hip marching band, that is. This Muffs album is essentially the same one they've released three times earlier — with different songs each time — except Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow is even less complex and more memorable than ever, if that's possible. Although they insist that they're pop-punk, they're really just Cyndi Lauper with a two-pack-a-day habit and a three-chord repertoire that keeps the street lively but musically safe for everyone. Kim Shattuck's growly vocal range actually refers to softer times in pop-punk music, when singers may have felt they had less to prove, perhaps. Shattuck is welcome to relax much more, as she does with charming effects on "Your Kiss," a sweet guitar-centered song that would make Brian Wilson proud. The album closes with a surprisingly sophisticated instrumental, "Jack Champagne," invoking the Ventures and warming your car radios' souls. Although little takes place here to shatter the earth or tumble the walls, there's nothing to shatter your spirits, either. A comforting pop record from a less-than-outraged punk band. [A Japanese version added a bonus track.]


Formed: 1991 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Fusing big guitar riffs, pop hooks, fast tempos, and an attitude that sways between sweet and snarky, the Muffs are a pop-punk band from Los Angeles led by guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Kim Shattuck. The Muffs' story begins in the late '80s, when Kim Shattuck and Melanie Vammen were members of the Los Angeles garage band the Pandoras; under the direction of group founder Paula Pierce, the Pandoras began to evolve from garage rock revivalists into a metal-influenced hard rock act. Shattuck left...
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Alert Today Alive Tomorrow, The Muffs
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