The Queers | 12.16.10

It is this ability to conflate gritty, relentless punk elements with bubble-gum surf sounds that makes the Queers’ music so irresistible.

 
 
 
 
Ever wonder what it might be like if the Beach Boys and the Ramones had a baby? Of course you have. Well that bastard child is here, loves beer and is called The Queers. If you don’t already love them, you should. Let me tell you why.
 
The Queers supply a driving punk beat and a furious, dirty sound while somehow maintaining a pop sensibility that sprinkles pure catchiness throughout their unpolished songs. And I’m talking catchy as in ‘singing along by the end of a song heard for the first time.’ There are more hooks in a Queers song than a tackle box.
 
But beyond mere hookery, what really seals the signature sound of The Queers is flow. They deliver a flawless, uninterrupted stream of goodness that motors along like a chant or a kids’ song, punctuated with brilliant, surf-y backing harmonies and infectious melodic cadences. All this while The Queers employ a simple three-chord formula that hearkens back to the Ramones and has remained a staple throughout the history of pop-influenced punk rock (see also: The Buzzcocks, The Dead Boys, Screeching Weasel, Green Day). Sing-songy melodies and a hefty dose of Beach Boys influence couple with juvenile and often humorous lyrics, giving them a playful charm and frisky, impish sound.
 
It is this ability to conflate gritty, relentless punk elements with bubble-gum surf sounds that makes the Queers’ music so irresistible. For example, "Born to Do Dishes" from the 1996 album Don’t Back Down is a composition that could only be called beautifully crafted shittiness; it’s a lament wrapped up in a beach blanket and served up on a bed of handclaps and torrential riffs. In another example, “Noodle Brain” from Love Songs for the Retarded combines epic wrath with pure goofiness, so that the listener can feel hostile and say ‘fuck you’ while concurrently bopping back and forth, smiling at the thought of insulting the object of their angst with an invective like “noodle brain”. In short, the music of The Queers is a contagious representation of the duality that exists in all of us—the “Elvis” and the “Sid”, as it were.
 
None of The Queers’ songs are overly complex. None of them could be considered serious or political. None of them could be called great feats of musical genius. But just as with the Ramones, these components are not necessary to make their music great, and thoroughly enjoyable. It’s just good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, replete with handclaps. Only, with The Queers, it’s good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll sped up in a blender with a large helping of attitude and garnished with a punk twist. | Alicia Wilton
 
The Queers play the Firebird December 16th. Go see them. And I dare you to try and sit still.

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