Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Muffs revisited: Crass, Shattuck and company pull no punches

Criss Crass rocks the Shanty Tavern (Andy photo)

Criss Crass never stops playing punk rock. And judging from the energy the former Muffs and Vains drummer expels, he might not get much sleep, either. The Seattle native gave his guitar and vocal chords a workout on Friday as leader of the Criss Crass Band during his 50th-birthday soiree at the Shanty Tavern on Lake City Way.

In the Los Angeles area, Muffs singer/guitarist Kim Shattuck was featured in a nice glossy Billy Caldwell photo in Sparkplug magazine ( Also in the cool department, the band will be playing at Alex's Bar in Long Beach (Calif.) May 14.
Kim Shattuck in action (Billy Caldwell photo)

So, what about the Muffs? A solid power-pop band, for sure, that we witnessed live several times back in the '90s. Bassist Ronnie Barnett even played for Seattle's Visqueen for a spell about six years ago. Roy McDonald rounds out the lineup on drums.

Here's two reviews Andy wrote for Rock Love magazine back in 1997:

* The Muffs -- "Happy Birthday to Me"
Singer/guitarist Kim Shattuck once socked a guy who got in her face during a fiery set at San Jose's Red Light District, and her group's third full-length release hammers along with similar ferocity.

Shattuck's blazing, Ramones-like guitar runs and don't-mess-with-me vocals emblazon fist prints all over this record.

After the punch was served: snagged setlist on a plate.
The Muffs' matching '60s-ish melodies (check out "All Blue Baby" and "Keep Holding Me") pack a wallop like no other group around. And in these days of slick recordings, the Muffs' songs are truly a treat because they hold onto the raw, garage edge that is often left in the past. The hardest-hitting tunes are the riff-happy "That Awful Man" and "I'm a Dick." When asked (on the song), "Is it All Okay?" the obvious answer is: damn straight.

* At the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle on Aug. 12, 1997 ... The Muffs rocked through some seven years' worth of spastic yet melodic anthems. From the old ("I Need You") to the new ("I'm a Dick"), singer/guitarist Kim Shattuck and her pals didn't miss a beat and kept the crowd jumping and singing. In fact, it was from within the sweating pit that the band found an old friend -- ex-drummer Criss Crass -- who chimed in with Shattuck on the classic, "Big Mouth."

Speaking of "Crass," we'll be checking out Steve Ignorant's display of anarchistic songs this Tuesday at Neumo's in Seattle and file an entry. Also, we'll report  on Keith Morris and his OFF! crew's double-barreled shotgun blast of Black Flag- and Circle Jerks-inspired tuneage at Neumo's tonight.

Crass and his brother, Mark, shake the Shanty (Andy photo)


  1. Wow, i/we finally got a little ink, and i ain't talkin bout the kind ya can get in the malls nowadays. i was beginning to think people stopped caring bout what real punk rocknroll can do to a soul. we all had a great time at my 50th, and i really appreciate, there's something hard in there, covering the big sh'bang. keep searching my pants, cuz you'll probably find there's something hard in there, i'm criss crass so blow it out your ass!!!

  2. We'll keep playing "hard"-ball as long as the punk (and rock) keeps flowin'. cheers, Mr. Crass