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Hamburger

The Muffs

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Album Review

A hugely loaded (30 tracks!) retrospective of singles, compilation appearances, outtakes, and demos, Hamburger is as entertaining as any of the Muffs' "proper" CDs. Covering all phases of the band's existence, from their punky early days as Kim Shattuck and Melanie Vammen's new band following the death of their fellow ex-Pandoras Paula Pierce to their more polished but no less assertive later era as a Shattuck-led pop trio with stalwart bassist Ronnie Barnett and ex-Redd Kross drummer Roy McDonald, the non-chronological songs on Hamburger are alternately sloppy, goofy, heartfelt, and as exciting as rock & roll got in the '90s. Best among the lot has to be 1992's "New Love," the group's first single and flat-out one of the finest indie singles of the entire decade, and a whopping one-third of the album is covers, ranging from a thrashing version of the Pandoras' early gem "You Lie" to a silly remake of Kim Wilde's "Kids in America," with influence-proving stops at the Saints, Elvis Costello, the Troggs, and the Paul Collins Beat along the way. It's possible that some of the solo Shattuck guitar and voice demos could have been dropped, but they don't impede the flow of the album much. Essential for fans, although newcomers should probably start with Blonder and Blonder or Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow.

Biography

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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Hamburger, The Muffs
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