To compare the real-world success of onetime labelmates The Queers and Green Day, consider that one of them has just made a successful transition to bloated arena rock, while the other apparently couldn't leverage the rights to its back catalogue for a best-of album. For last year's Summer Hits No. 1, Joe Queer and his rotating rhythm section just rerecorded, with precise self-imitation, their best tunes. And no one but a few thousand pop-punk holdovers are the wiser. That's a real shame. While The Queers have never exactly reached for the creative brass ring -- if it's possible to have a Ramones addiction, these are hopeless junkies -- they're closer in spirit to the timeless pop-punk tradition of The Descendents than any band since. You can't argue with juvenile anthems like "Punk Rock Girls": "The smartest of the smartest and the sweetest of the sweetest, they're the most/Me and Dr. Frank have both decided that we love 'em more than toast." No danger of a concept album any time soon.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.