It's certainly good to know that Kim Shattuck and her partners in pop-punk, the Muffs, are still at it 11 years after dropping their first long-player (particularly since the sainted and not dissimilar Fastbacks have called it a career), and 2004's Really Really Happy shows that she's held on to the virtues that made her (and her band) lots of fun in the first place. Shattuck still has a great ear for guitar hooks, can play 'em with an admirable sense of chunky economy, and writes lyrics that blend an overgrown teenager's sense of snooty goofiness (or goofy snottiness) without shortchanging the relationship stuff that's usually the province of us grown-ups. Fine and dandy so far, but the album's drawbacks can seemingly be summed up in the following notes in the disc's booklet: "Drums recorded at Swinghouse Studios. Everything else recorded in Kim's kitchen." This would tend to suggest that most of Really Really Happy was recorded under "don't bother the neighbors" circumstances, and unfortunately it sounds like it -- most of these tracks just don't rock as hard or punch as deep as they need to, and they lack the propulsive live-sounding feel of the group's best records. Good songs, solid band, fun listening, but between you and me, Kim, if you're gonna cut the next Muffs album at home, maybe you should look into soundproofing the basement so you, bassist Ronnie Barnett, and drummer Roy McDonald can all crank it out at once. Trust me, if you do, I think we'll all be thanking ourselves afterward. ~ Mark Deming
Uncut (p.116) - 3 stars out of 5 - "The Muffs still sound like they live in an alternative milkshake world of pop and underground '80s punk."