Beyond The Valley… of The Assfuckers
By: Eric G.
No matter how wimpy and sensitive punk continues to grow, there will always be bands like The Queers, who, despite being older than your dad, will churn out silly, numbskull pop punk until their guitars are buried with them in punk rock hell. The Queers represent the greasers in Grease, the dunces in the classroom, and the losers at prom- anyone who rejects society and its conventions or is rejected by society and its conventions. Sadly, and, predictably, such anti-conformity has turned into its own brand of conformity, complete with its own uniforms and attitudes. Welcome to the world of joke punk rock, where bad puns serve as album titles, artwork is almost always a cartoon, and bands like The Queers make a career out of writing the same song hundreds of times.
I’ve never quite understood how the same genre that Bad Brains and Rudimentary Peni called home came to encompass and even embrace toilet humor and the same three braindead chords, but I guess it all goes back to The Ramones. The Sex Pistols were crass but never self-referential, and The Clash was too busy trying to make a difference to have much fun. The next wave of American punk cemented all the modern day cliches for the joke punk movement. From the aforementioned Ramones to MDC to The Meatmen to The Descendents to Flipper on to the modern day stuff on Fat Wreck Chords and bands like NOFX and Screeching Weasel- the inherent silliness and ‘don’t give a fuck’ attitude of which morphed into a culture of smelly suburban teens that has become a commercially acceptable period of adolescnece.
The Queers hark back to these early days of American punk, but very little has changed along the way. Maturity is the death of punk, and these guys refuse to grow up. Joe Queer may be in his late thirties and use a cell phone, but he’s not above song titles like “My Cunt’s A Cunt” and “I Just Called To Say Fuck You.” It’s stupid and silly, but somehow I can’t help but laugh at the lyrics to “Stupid Fucking Vegan”- not because they’re very clever but because they will probably piss of a lot of hippie straight edge kids: “You always pray to Jah when you smoke your fucking pot/you fucking vegan/you like the Grateful Dead and think they’re really hot/you fucking vegan.”
So The Queers keep writing the same song over and over again, but any band that can make a chorus like “I hate your fucking guts” sound catchy, more power to it. As much as they would hate to admit it, The Queers thrive off the success of fluff punk like Blink 182, Green Day, and the stuff on the Warped Tour because it provides endless fodder to mock even though there’s really very little difference between any of them. Beyond the barriers of success, their formulas are pretty much the same: catchy hooks, bratty vocals, and speed. The Queers’ music is so wrapped up in being ‘old school’ that there’s little room for any new ideas, but fans of this stuff don’t want any new ideas. It may be embarrassing, ridiculous, and crude, but at least it’s consistent. For every Hot Water Music there’s a band like The Queers to balance it all out.