The Bugs - The Bugs (Cover Artwork)

The Bugs

The Bugs: The BugsThe Bugs (2009)

Reviewer Rating: 0.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Formed in 1998, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network helps link young activists looking to fight homo- and transphobia. I was involved with the group on and off during my college years. I was also the LGBTQ listings intern for City Paper in Philadelphia for a semester. I mention these things so that yo.
iTunes StoreAmazon

Formed in 1998, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network helps link young activists looking to fight homo- and transphobia. I was involved with the group on and off during my college years. I was also the LGBTQ listings intern for City Paper in Philadelphia for a semester. I mention these things so that you, the reader, will be able to figure out how I handle pop-punkers the Bugs' casual gay-bashing on their self-titled full-length.

Ironically featuring Queers bassist Dangerous Dave, the band churns out anti-gay sentiments at a breakneck pace (the album totals 13.5 minutes). "Never Went Gay" is a 42-second repetition of its title over Ramones-y pop-punk playing that's too lazily written to feel like legitimate hate speech, but there's something about the tone that gives it a bitter sound. The contradictory "I'm Turning Gay" is a joke song about gently loving dudes because ol' Dave "can't keep a girlfriend and I don't know why / I think I just might do it / See a dude's ass and screw it / and be gay." "Email from a She-Male" worries about people learning that the protagonist knows at least one trans person. "Dave Navarro's Goatee Fucking Sucks," while boasting a scientifically accurate title, trips itself up by equating homosexuality with sucking. Oddly enough, the genre criticisms of "No More Emo Haircuts" never skew towards hateful ignorance. Dave just hates those kids for "writing lots of poems." Because if there's one thing the Bugs don't do, it's express feelings with words at any great length.

Admittedly, not every tune the Bugs write is homophobic -- a good chunk of the album is about drugs. In a way, these tracks are worse, because while "Lesbo! Lesbo" is offensive, it's at least more memorable than "Meth on My Mind" or "Back on the Weed." "I Wish I Was a Mexican" would be racist if it weren't for the fact that folks 'round here can "drink a Bud" and "get a mustache and some shades" regardless of ethnicity. This is America, dammit. It's tempting to pull back a bit and let the Bugs lack o' topics or depth slide. It's just pop-punk, after all. But even on those grounds, the trio still fails. Folks would be better off with the Ramones or Screeching Weasel. And if you like your pop-punk homophobic, there's always Descendents' "I'm Not a Loser."


People who liked this also liked:
Peter Pan Speedrock - Buckle Up and Shove It!The Real McKenzies - Rats In The BurlapPoison Idea - Confuse & ConquerGallows - Desolation SoundsModern Action - Molotov SolutionAmoebas - Telephone [7 inch]Them Teeth - Them Teeth DemoFaith No More - Sol InvictusAgnostic Front - The American Dream DiedFifteen - Lucky

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
DaveSr (November 14, 2012)

I'm guessing you also think the Dead Kennedys really wanted us to kill the poor and steal people's mail as well.

DDay (June 24, 2009)

Sorry to hear that you were highly offended by The Bugs smashing Dave Navarro's goatee, you enjoying his band Jane‚??s Addiction, but just because a guy‚?¶or girl‚?¶like yourself can‚??t comprehend humor at it‚??s slightest level DOES NOT mean that The Bugs (or in Jelone‚??s case, just Dangerous Dave) are in any way racist, or prejudice, against anyone. And if ANYONE here takes this guy‚??s‚?¶or girl‚??s‚?¶labeling of a band (thinking The Bugs are pop-punk) serious, should take a quick gander at what he‚?¶or she‚?¶listens to; Jane‚??s Addiction, Sum 41, 44, Blink 182, The Cure, Tori Amos and much more. Now should this guy‚?¶or girl‚?¶really be the person in charge of labeling the music WE listen to? I do not need some prissy wannabe critic, such as Jelone, to label The Bugs as pop-punk. Just because you were kicked out of City Paper in Philadelphia after a semester, for being horribly wrong and inaccurate in your writings I‚??m sure (judging off your poor and false description of this band) doesn‚??t give you any right to stick an inaccurate label on them. They‚??re not even fucking mainstream. So get off your self-righteous ass and obtain a life in one way or another.

Now let‚??s take a quick second to think here. Does anyone here know Dangerous Dave? Does Jelone know Dangerous Dave? If you know Dangerous Dave, you would know he isn‚??t a homophobe and you would understand his sense of humor.

‚??Ironically featuring Queers bassist Dangerous Dave,‚?Ě and here Jelone stands implying right there that Dangerous Dave must be gay. Standing against everything he...or she...thought he...or she...stood for. Honestly man, I can't tell if you're a guy or girl. Duder for your occupation doesn't help and I'm choosing not to believe what your last.fm profile says you are.

HateAholic (June 23, 2009)

You guys are a bunch of gays. Who the hell Cares what they Say? how retarded do you have to be to think they are fucking serious. Looks like they got what they wanted. A rise about of a bunch of PC Nazi Homo Commies.

GoToASkaShow (June 22, 2009)

wow, this review, its author, and everyones reaction is comical. all this bullshit about "they arent really serious" or "yeah-huh they sure are, and thats disciminatory and racist and sexist and rude and NOT PUNK..."

blah fucking blah.

seriously, guys?

The Queers, The Bugs, Dangerous Dave, however you look at it... its all just plain ol punk. take it at fucking face value. get butthurt. get mad. who the fuck cares. Dave's got charisma. Dave's got heart. Dave's got experience. you dont see it, oh fuckin well. Good album. down and dirty "dont give a shit, i dont care what you think, freedom of fucking speech" old school punk.

for people who talk big talk about PUNK (what it is, what it stands for, all that shit), those who get offended over his music are sure being big pussies about it.

c'mon guys. its fucking music.

johngentile (June 19, 2009)

As to the message conveyed, how do we know that they aren't serious?

I mean, they could be speaking from the point of view of the people they disagree with, ala "Kill the poor."

Or, they could be trying to re-contextualize the word Gay ala the n-word in hip hop.

Or, they could be trying to write the dumbest, simplest songs possible (which is actually pretty hard) and they feel that talking about gay people in this way was the dumbest thing tos ing about.

Really, I don't see a clear message conveyed here at all- just like alot of early Ramones songs.

Still, jelone, I can see your side of the argument and I can see why someone would not like this record.

Personally, I don't feel that a record is deserving of a half star simply becuase I don't agree with the message, but I can see why someone might- and there is a validity behind such an assertion.

johngentile (June 19, 2009)

Oh, sorry, strike that last comment. I confused Jelone with "crackpotdemogod." Sorry.

johngentile (June 19, 2009)

I'm not sure that their message is homophobic because I'm not sure that they are serious and therefore unless it is clear they are being serious it is impossible to say that the message conveyed is definately homophobic.

As to you your comment about "not caring if something is punk," my last comment was in response to your "then count me out" statement which seemed to be in reference to my previous comment that talked about wether or not The Bugs made a good record in the eyes of the punk rock community.

Therefore, I interpreted your statement to mean "... then count me out of the punk rock scene."

Perhaps you could inform me as to how I misread your words?

Jelone (June 19, 2009)

John, I could give a shit about being punk. That's beside the point. I keep hearing this argument that "they probably don't mean it" and that I need to get to know them. But intent takes a backseat to the conveyed message, which is homophobic and racist in nature. Again, this has nothing to do with being punk and everything to do with being an asshole.

johngentile (June 19, 2009)

Well, I'm not even sure these guys are being bigots- I don't think they are being serious.

And yes, in my opinion, dangerous and explosive does include bigotry, because if you exclude bigotry, then several set backs occur.

1. Over the years the term bigotry has included and exlcuded mutliple different terms. Therefore, if you exclude bigotry, then you have to wind up exlcuding a lot of older records even though they might have valid points on other subjects.

2. There are probably no two people on earth that agree about every single concept. Therefore, to exclude bigoted ideas, but keeping other ideas that you don't agree with in punkl rock, seems arbitrary, and also seems to limit avenues of expression.

3. I feel it is important for every point to have a conter point, if only to re-enfroce the truth of the point made. That is, if we all agree on a certian subject, and n one makes arguments against that subject, how can we be sure that we are correct. To remove bigotry from this realm of argument also seems arbitrary, and even dangerous.

To re-iterate, I am against homophobia, but I think that a band cracking "gay jokes" (when tehy probably aren't evne serious) should not be declared "unpunk" or "lousy" simply for going against what most punks think is the correct position.

crackpotdemagogue (June 19, 2009)

I do think punk should be dangerous and explosive

does dangerous and explosive include bigotry? if so, count me out.

SloaneDaley (June 19, 2009)

I'm just not sure that homophobic remarks to be shocking really does anything at all because yes the large amount of the punk community is anti-homophobia BUT most of society is still holds a lot of hate towards LGBT folks. To me punk is rallying against the "system" and the system is still a greed fueled opressive one and compassion is still a revolutionary concept to most people.

GlassPipeMurder (June 19, 2009)

i kind of agree with John, though not to the extent of GG Allin or the types who just do/say outrageous things for attention. but honestly I don't think this band is homophobic in the sense of having any negative feelings towards the GLBT community. Dave devotes much of his time to the Queers, and I'm 99.999% sure Mike Park would never release music by a band that was truly homophobic or expressed hate speech in any way. Granted, I don't have the same perspective as Jelone, but I wouldn't equate a band like this with homophobia. In fact, songs like "I'm Turning Gay" probably piss off the anti-gay right more than anyone else.

johngentile (June 19, 2009)

I like this record. While I don't agree with their view points about various groups (I actually don't even think they are being serious), I think they are providing a service/wake up call tot he punk community.

To me, punk rock is about expressing different view points and making dangerous statements. It seems that within the past 10 years or so, punk has become very p.c.- that is to say, there are certain ideas that it seems that all punks should subscribe to or they aren't "punk." A fundamental set of rules that MUST have adherence seems to be very group minded and "unpunk", in my opinion.

Therefore, by making a shocking record, even if only to shock and draw debate, the bugs have been successful, in my opinion. I mean, just look at the conversion this little release has generated here! That should be an indicator of the album's merit.

I'm not saying that I agree with their opinions, but I do think punk should be dangerous and explosive and the general punk rock establishment could deal with people lighting fires from inside once in a while.

Yellow_Card (June 18, 2009)

Face it, Yellowcard has done more for rock and roll than The Bug will ever do. Don't get jealous, just get on the Yellowcard train and let your hair down and rock out to catchy tunes, with a smile on your face. They don't cuss and talk about homosexual males because they have hooks and melodies, unlike The Bug band you are trying to defend.

bonerface (June 18, 2009)

Angry and confused? I don't think so. I know my username is stupid, so what? If I'm gonna listen to pop-punk that's positive and makes me feel good, I'm gonna put on Screeching Weasel or Latterman. Not Yellowcard. I'm not 14.

Is this Yellow_Card guy just a joker? Because I don't know anybody who would seriously be trying to advertise Yellowcard like this.

Yellow_Card (June 18, 2009)

Hey Mr "Bonerface",
Sorry, I'm not going to someone with an user name like that seriously. You sound angry and confused. If you are looking for some posi-vibes, please do youself a favor and check out Yellowcard's newest release "Deep Cuts", for the time being, there are allowing downloads on iTunes but will be pulling it off in a week or so, so get it now while you can, it's only $3.89 and I think it will help get rid of some of your anger.
You can thank me later! :)

bonerface (June 18, 2009)

And Dangerous Dave is also a really fucking nice dude...if you get the chance to meet him, it's pretty obvious that he's not a meat head or a homophobic dick.

bonerface (June 18, 2009)

I'm pretty sure the point of the Bugs is to be as stupid as possible, and just be purposefully offensive for the fuck of it. It doesn't mean that they actually hate gay people, or want to do meth.

And it's not like the Queers have never written songs that could be considered homophobic-"Danny Vapid aint a faggot?" "fagtown?" And then there's Joe Queer's other band, The Drunken Cholos...just as un-pc as the bugs (faggot in the family).

I guess if you're offended by the bugs album, then they accomplished what they set out to do...slaughtering a sacred cow and being as stupid as they can.

Oh yeah, and Yellow Card fucking blows.

Yellow_Card (June 18, 2009)

Reading the review, I almost got a little dizzy reading about the filth this release contained. Thank God their are pop-punk bands that have a message about peace and love, not hate. If you are looking for a band with catchy tunes, melodic punk beats and vocals to die for, please check out Yellowcard's 3rd release Paper Walls, it came out a little over two years ago, but you'll find that it truly is one of those timeless releases that your kids and your grandkids and their kids and grandkids will still want to listen to. I say "Thumbs down to The Bugs" and "Hats off to Yellowcard and other positive pop punk bands"!

inagreendase (June 17, 2009)

Those lyrics in question in "I'm Not a Loser" always seemed to me to be directed at the narrator.

americanriot (June 17, 2009)

do you mean that in the derogatory way or literal way?

ffwoodycooks (June 17, 2009)

what a bunch of faggotphobes

mikexdude (June 17, 2009)

americariot -- stop being gay

crackpotdemagogue (June 17, 2009)

The only group of people that Dave's lyrics really show any venom for are emo kids. Can you really hold that against him?

Well, yes actually. Directing hate, or "venom", at an entire cetegory of individuals based purely on some crude and prejudicial stereotype is nothing short of fucking idiotic. As someone who participates in delivering youth-work schemes in an inner city I can assure you that 'emo-kids' are - you may be suprised to learn - human beings just like the rest of us.

americanriot (June 17, 2009)

for the record, "I'm Not A Loser" was written by guitarist Frank Navetta, not Milo. i don't think any of us here are qualified to state the intentions behind the song. if it makes you feel better to interpret it one way, and helps you justify listening to the band fine, but the truth of it is a lot of the punk from that era wasn't all sunshine and roses,and people want to make it out to be this utopia. people always just write off anything less than flattering as it was the result of jocks or meat heads. are we really all that perfect to be casting judgement like that.

chewie (June 17, 2009)

This reviewer is an idiot. This band isn't about gay bashing, they're just about having fun. The only group of people that Dave's lyrics really show any venom for are emo kids. Can you really hold that against him? The Queers have songs like "Fagtown" and "Gay Boy" and no one ever accuses them of gaybashing or being "homophobic". These songs are not meant to be taken seriously. GET A CLUE.

dizzychairtime666 (June 17, 2009)

I agree with mikexdude about Milo quoting lines directed towards him. I listen to the Bugs cd all the time. Dangerous Dave is a positive role model for today's youth. Almost all the Ramones are dead and Ben Weasel is a money-grabbing punk rock narcissist. Dave keeps it real and I'm totally buying that 7 inch.

mikexdude (June 16, 2009)

Joe -- I'm eh with tongue in cheek too; satire is one thing I guess, but I don't even like it when people say "faggot" in gimmicks like Anton Rough (even if he's fucking hilarious most of the time). I'd be completely taken a back if they stood by what they're saying.

Jelone (June 16, 2009)

GPM - I KNOW! There oughta be a law!

Jelone (June 16, 2009)

Mike - Tongue-in-cheek rarely bodes well with me. I know plenty of kids out here in the Pa. burbs who love to drop racial epithets "ironically," but that shit don't fly on 20th and Olney. Besides, the gay "jokes" are so plentiful and devoid of zingers that, even if meant as parody, doesn't translate to hilarity. All I hear is hate speech.

Hayman - Admittedly, I only reviewed this album because it came in a box of promos Brian sent me to review. If I wasn't bound by a gentleman's honor to write about Bugs, I wouldn't have bothered.

GlassPipeMurder (June 16, 2009)

Jelone--I don't think you can be homophobic and play in a band called The Queers.

hayman (June 16, 2009)

Who gives a shit? I've heard bands with a lot worse lyrics than these guys.

crackpotdemagogue (June 16, 2009)

sounds like a repressed bunch of 2-brain-cell meat-heads discovered guitars and decided to have a bash at expressing their idiocy via the tried and tested method of 3-chord bullshit fest. (file alongside other morons in the punk rock hall of faeces, such as johnny ramone and g.g allin then leave to rot).

SloaneDaley (June 16, 2009)

Mikexdude receives emails from a shemale.

mikexdude (June 16, 2009)

The descendents are beyond mortal. If they want to be homophobes, they shouldn't have to apologize!


ffwoodycooks (June 16, 2009)

mr. michael dude:

the descendents were young when they wrote those songs so, they were naive. they have since apologized for the lyrics.

Dante3000 (June 16, 2009)

Best gay title? Anal Cunt's, "If you don't like the village people, you're gay".

mikexdude (June 16, 2009)

Wait, so this isn't tongue in cheek? This is despicable if not.

Also, is this Descendents thing I've always been confused about. The line: "...your pants are too tight you fucking homo. you suck, mr butt fuck, you don't belong here. no way, you fucking gay. I'm not a loser"

It seems like Milo is quoting comments directed at him. I mean the Ramones wore tight pants so I can hardly imagine him calling someone like the ramones gay.

Exclusive Streams


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go