• Mutts
  • The Mutts EP (Shanghai) 1985 
  • Stinko's Ranch (Loud Music) 1992 

The Mutts’ 1985 EP introduces a mildly amusing hooks’n’humor guitar band, yet only hints at how good the Los Angeles quintet would get at it. By the ’92 LP, the core of that group — guitarist Kevin Grover and bassist Eddy Sill — had re-emerged as lead singers of an otherwise new quartet, with novice Mutt Billy Murrell on guitar. The band’s songwriting is miles better, too: the album kicks off with the instantly winning melodies of “Cricket” and (sigh) “Emilyn.” The Mutts go on to mock — oh so melodically — how clueless they (as Everymen) really are on “John Hughes Movie (Not Quite Like A),” “I Live With a Cat” and “Just What I Was Afraid Of” (“You’re just what I wanted…needed…was afraid of”), with new drummer Paul Legaspi kicking butt behind ’em all the while.

[Jim Green]