Last updated: 07/21/2014 07:42:57 PM
The Queers were punk-rockers from New Hampshire led by singer-guitarist Joe King. They began in the early 1980s with a string of singles and EPs, later collected on A Day Late And A Dollar Short (Lookout, 1996). They played outrageously decadent, sex/drugs glam-punk with the fury of early punk-rock (We'd Have A Riot Doing Heroin, Fagtown, I Want Cunt; Love Me, 1982). Slowly they absorbed elements of a hard-rock outfit, except with cheesy solos, distortions, etc, as in a parody of the genre (Kicked Out Of The Webelos, 1984; Tulu Is A Wimp, I Spent The Rent, This Place Sucks, I Like Young Girls, Nothing To Do, I Didn't Puke, Fuck You). Towards the end of the decade, this style give way to Ramones-style punk-pop (Too Many Twinkies, I Live This Live), under the influence of Mr T Experience and Screeching Weasel.
Their first album, Grow Up (Shakin' Street, 1990 - Lookout, 1994) boasts driving anthems such as Junk Freak (which sounds like the Beastie Boys' Fight For Your Right), Rambo Rat, Gay Boy catchy ditties such as I Met Her At The Rat and I'll Be True To You, and lyrics that would make even the Cramps blush (Love Love Love, Boobarella, Burger King Queen),
Love Songs For The Retarded (Lookout, 1993), possibly their masterpiece and one of punk-rock's milestones, delivers a barrage of catchy, pummeling refrains (Granola Head, Debra Jean, Teenage Bonehead and Fuck This World).
Beat Off (Lookout, 1994) is quite as compact, but still features Voodoo Doll and the instrumental Steak Bomb.
While the music is still powerful, Move Back Home (Lookout, 1995) moves towards pop in an awkward manner, while mimicking the Ramones in an even more awkward manner (She's A Cretin, High School Psychopath).
And re-recording the entire Rocket To Russia was the ultimate tribute to the Ramones.
Punk Rock Girls, the classic from the the four-song EP Bubblegum Dreams (1996), is also the best song on Don't Back Down (Lookout, 1996), the album that marked the end of the golden era and the conversion to straight-forward mainstream punk-pop (Janelle Janelle, I Can't Get Over You, Born to Do Dishes, I Only Drink Bud). Here the early Beach Boys influence, that had surfaced occasionally on previous records. becomes the predominant factor.
After this album, the band members started drifting apart. King was busy trying to kick his drug habit, bassist B-Face joined the Groovie Ghoulies, drummer Hugh O'Neil died of a brain hemorrage.
Queerbait, from the EP Everything's OK (Hopeless, 1998), is still up their standard, but the later albums, Punk Rock Confidential (Hopeless, 1998) and Beyond The Valley Of The Assfuckers (Hopeless, 2000), are terrible.
Later Days and Better Lays (Lookout, 1999) is a 21-song compilation of rarities.
Pleasant Screams (Lookout, 2002) returns to their comfortable sound, without even trying to be more original.