It’s always bittersweet to review an album that has been posthumously released and yet that’s where we are with The Muffs “No Holiday.”
The music world lost founding member and lead vocalist Kim Shattuck on October 2, 2019 just two weeks before the release of “No Holiday.” We had already lost Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek this year but losing Kim was more shocking. Kim Shattuck was young and still in her prime as an artist. She never stopped working and performing. Whether it was touring with the Pixies in 2013 or recording new music with her other musical projects such as The Pandoras and The Beards. Shattuck’s work ethic and love of music is the reason her fans are left with the 18 song farewell from her main source of musical fun The Muffs.
“No Holiday” finds Shattuck not only singing and playing but also serving as the album’s producer and primary songwriter. Kim wrote 17 of the 18 tracks herself with only 1 credited to her and band member Roy McDonald. That’s an impressive feat for any artist let alone one suffering from the effects of a debilitating disease like ALS. All of those hurdles didn’t stop Shattuck from making an upbeat sing-a-long record. “No Holiday” is filled with songs that will make you happy while you listen and sad when they’re over because you know that there will never again be new Kim Shattuck music.
The album opens with the punchy “That’s For Me” that clocks in at just 38 seconds. That might sound like more of an intro or an interlude but The Muffs make it feel like a fully formed song. Next up another quick ditty in “Down Down Down” that will have you inadvertently bobbing your head to the beat. In fact the entire album has this same infectious quality and moves from song to song so quickly and joyfully that you won’t believe how much fun 45 minutes can be.
The whole band shines on “No Holiday” with Ronnie Burnett (bass, backing vocals) and Roy McDonald (drums) lifting each song to new heights of pop punk perfection. This could not have been an easy album to make given the circumstances of Kim’s health but you would never know it because the album sounds like there’s a rainbow coming out of your speakers.
The album closes out with the acoustic based “Sky.” If the intent of this track was to make the listener look up to the heavens and wonder “what’s next” then mission accomplished. I know there was no grand intent but for this reviewer I did wonder where is Kim right now? Is she up there? because I would like to thank her for her music and the beautiful gift she’s left us with “No Holiday.”
Pat Francis currently hosts the popular comedy/music podcast “Rock Solid,” called 1 of the 8 great music podcasts to put in your ears by USA Today and featuring artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Sammy Hagar and Susanna Hoffs. His frequent appearances on Jimmy Pardo’s top rated podcast “Never Not Funny” are fan favorites. Pat began his entertainment career as a stand-up comic in Chicago, IL. After touring the country and performing in 42 states at comedy clubs and colleges, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA. There he appeared as a comedian on Comedy Central, AMC, the UCB and is a yearly regular at the San Francisco Sketchfest. For the past 5 years he has also served as Co-Host of the yearly event Pardcast-A-Thon which to date has raised over 700,000 for Smile Train. When not entertaining people in person he also makes his living as a Story Producer for reality television programs. It is also important to know that Pat is a monkey in a human mask.