Local Wire

The Queers

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.
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Andrew Marcus