The Queers / Don’t Back Down


Don't Back Down

Don’t Back Down is the fifth album by pop punk band The Queers released on Lookout! Records. It was remastered by Mass Giorgini and reissued by Asian Man Records in 2007 with 3 songs from the Bubblegum Dreams EP.[1]

Kembrew McLeod of Allmusic regarded the album as an artistic peak, stating that “the Queers successfully use the musical vocabularies developed by the Ramones (as well as Brian Wilson and others) and take their songs to new levels” and “some of the songs, dare it be said, even surpass many of Brian Wilson’s perfect pop songs.”

The Analysis:

No Tit—-Beginning this release brash but with a huge sense of melody, the band pulls no punches when it comes to delivering somewhat tasteless songs mixed in with their otherwise perfect pop songs. Even with the lyrical content, which can be overlooked, there is a remarkable melody and fantastic energy.

Punk Rock Girls—-In my opinion, one of the best songs that this band has ever delivered. This has that punk mentality and energy, mixed in with an irresistible melody and pogo styled chorus. This is fantastic…perhaps a  band at the first height of their career, this is has always been a favorite and I return to it often. this has Beach Surf written all over it!

I’m OK, You’re Fucked—-delivered at hyper speed and showing the pure punk roots of the band, this track abandons all forms of melody for a loud, fast brash delivery of manic music. This is superb..full of energy and a classic lyric. Brilliant!

Number One—-Delivered with classic Social Distortion style guitars but a Beach Boys vocal, this song is literally genius. This is wonderful Beach Pop that offers a nice fuzzy backdrop and a bass line that provides all of the melody lines for the song. The vocal is actual singing…rather than the predictable screams of most Punk Rock…this is just fantastic!

Don’t Back Down—-This sounds more like the Beach Boys than the Beach Boys….even breaking into a nice doo wah falsetto. this is freakin’ awesome!!! Well constructed and delivered with a melody line that will still be in my head tomorrow morning, this is impressive as hell. I love this band…the more records I discover, the more I fall in love!!!

I Only Drink Bud—-a bit more abrasive and energetic, this is classic Queers. The band delivers a punk classic that we can all relate to…BEER!!! The handclaps are so cheesy that they become endearing…this is just fantastic.

I Always Knew—-This is another of those tracks that has a remarkable melody and a damn accessible sound. Why was this band never huge? I love the gentleness of the track…the vocal is damn accessible and the oohs and aahs are remarkable…giving the song that classic Beach/Surf sound. Fantastic!!!

Born To Do Dishes—-Returning to full throttle Punk, this song travels at hyper speed but never looses the wonderful harmony that is in almost every song. Granted, this is a damn silly song…but it is so endearing and accessible you can’t dislike it…even with all of your might!

Janelle, Janelle—-This is one of the high points of this record…delivered with some pretty human and relatable lyrics, a remarkable melody and a speed that allows you to actually catch every word. This is wonderful…I can’t get enough of this stuff. Really one of those bands that flew so far under the radar they missed the boat…but this is a reminder of why they first caught my attention…this is damn brilliant!

Brush Your Teeth—-From the onset, this song features the ‘other side’ of The Queers…the one that has their foot firmly planted in the Punk Rock community…delivering silly songs at hyper speed with a huge contagious melody line. This is fantastic…fast and furious and a whole lot of nonsense in the process.

Sidewalk Surfer Girl—-Returning to full on Beach Boys pop punk rock, the band delivers a touching lyric set to a remarkable lyric that pleases from the very first listen. this stuff never gets old or sounds dated to me…this is original and fresh…brings a huge smile to my face and plants irresistible melodies in my ADD brain. Fantastic!

Another Girl—-Blistering from the onset, the remarkable thing is that you are able to catch every word…despite the fuzz and the speed. This is fabulous…Joe & Co. give me yet another favorite record. This is brilliant..full of huge guitar solos and wonderful melodies…all in the spectrum of 1 minute and 53 seconds…wow!

Love Love Love—-Fuzzy and a bit muted, this song has the vocal pushed way to the back of the mix..making me wonder if this was a different recording/production session. the song is brilliant and catchy none the less…delivering a faster and more hyper kinetic sound. This is brilliance…the guitar solo has a nice rock-a-billy feel that leaves you only wanting more.

I Can’t Get Over You—-With a huge ‘guest’ female vocal, this is a shimmering and almost glossy song that is delivered at a much slower pace. although the slight Queers fuzz is still pleasant in the backdrop, you are reminded just how talented this bunch of scraggly punk rockers really are. This is sheer brilliance and pleasure.

Never Ever—-Wonderful from the first note, this has that trademark Beach sound of early Queers recording all over it. This is a brilliant pop song…if nothing else. This is layered with huge surf sounds that remind you of mid-career Ramones….I could never ask for more from this band…and did I mention that Joe Queer has a damn nice singing voice?

Little Honda—-Coming back at you with that nice mix that is classic Beach Boys thrown in the blender with The Ramones, The Queers delivers a song that will have you tapping your feet and grabbing for Pet Sounds before you can help yourself. This is so damn pleasant…I ask myself again…why was this band buried so far in the underground no one ever heard this great stuff….what a travesty!

End It All Now—-Ending this brilliant release with a track that delivers more of the shiny Surf Punk sounds mixed with a remarkable guitar fuzz thrown in for good measure, this was a band at their most creative. I love this…the melody is simply addictive…the vocals are crystal clear and the harmonies that run through the back drop make this a permanent part of your favorite playlist!

****3/4 out of 5

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