Yummy,Yummy,Yummy I got Tuscan in my Tummy.
Remember that jingle? I sure do!
Last month I turned on my television and observed Ernie Anastas tell me a little bedtime story on the late night news about the Ramones and Talking Heads hitting the Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame. Not only did this send me a sharp feeling of ultimate compunction, but not less than a week later I pulled up to a red traffic light only to be filled with a convoluted tune coming from the inside of the car next to me that couldn't be mistaken for "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"-- The car driven by a red nosed prick in a pink Lacoste shirt.(See Amazing Crowns review) I was quite taken back, maybe a little disgusted at first. But alas! The little pink man pulls down his power windows and yells my name. Blasphemy! It was my father. Last time I saw my father ( December '01) he had put down Joey Ramone's version of Sonny Bono's "Needles and Pinzzuh".I am presently looking foward to more occasions like this.
The Queers have been around since the early eighties. You might have heard of the infamous Drunken Cholos. If not, nobody cares. You won't find the Drunken Cholos in Best Buy anyway. The Queers are one of the few bands that rip off the Ramones and the Beach Boys and are remarkably good at doing so. The Queers are one of three bands that were so taken back by the Ramones sound they covered a complete Ramones album. (They also get a lot of shit for "wanting" to sound so much like them but when more than a dozen bands rip off Pennywise no one dares to rasp a tongue)
If you are familiar with the Queers and fell off after their last couple albums, you will notice a line up change on the new LP. In 1999, longtime drummer Hugh O' Neil succumbed to brain cancer. Brian Wilson er, Joe Queer had this to say about him :
"Hugh was a great drummer, one of the best I ever saw. Nor one of those west-coast faggot drummers who play star NOFX BULLSHIT - but a straight ahead punk drummer who kept the fucking beat without making production out of it. The other story about Hugh is that he was a true punk. He didn't need the whole purple mohawk and Doc Martens to be a punk rocker. He was the real thing. An on again/off again junkie, he partied with the best of 'em. We had many funny escapades on tour but to be truthful they weren't all that when we did them."
Longtime chum and collaborator, Ben Weasel contributed to a couple tracks on this album and The Queer fellows also touched up an unfinished Joey Ramone song, " I Wanna Be Happy". YES, there is a Donovan song covered on here as well and a song, "Debbie Be True" by the Fantastic Baggies. Every song on Pleasant Screams (note the similarity to Ramone's Pleasant Dreams), is nothing but traditional Queers. That's the bottom line.
Since I heard the Queers in the early nineties with their debut on Lookout! "Grow Up", they certainly haven't done so and they certainly haven't changed their sound. Joe Queer's songwriting has not tarnished and his sequential knack for writing a silly love song (ie: the album Don't Back Down) has been continued successfully with the new lineup, even leaving me to believe most of his songs surpass most Beach Boys tunes.