The Queers / The Jasons - Unhappy Campers [EP] (Cover Artwork)

The Queers / The Jasons

Unhappy Campers [EP] (2020)

Pro Rawk Records

What was originally planned as a 7-inch EP between The Queers and the Jasons surprisingly turned into a 10-inch EP through the addition of more songs. This resulted in a slight delay from the originally scheduled release date. Having patience has indeed paid off in the form of this great pairing of bands.

The Queers offer up four re-recordings of tracks originally appearing on their 2010 album Back to the Basement. “I’m Pissed” kicks off their side of this split release. This heavy bottom end track leans more to their Angry Samoans hardcore influenced side of the band. The guitar leads are present but a bit more subtle than usual for the Queers. This rocker boasts some amazing backing vocals in the right places. The classic “I Knew GG When He Was A Wimp” follows. This recording to my ears is a lot clearer than the original. Joe’s vocals have never sounded better. This is a fun track telling a tale of what GG was really like before becoming somewhat of an infamous punk figurehead. “Titfuck” is a song about a specific act that really needs no further explanation beyond its title. This straightforward rocker is the most Ramonescore sounding track of the bunch. The Queers end their offering with “Pull Me Out of It” which is most reminiscent to their classic Lookout years. This track boasts both a catchy chorus and infectious guitar lead. The song concludes with a solid guitar driven outro.

For those who don’t know, The Jasons pay homage to the Friday the 13th franchise through their songs and image. Their craft is as equally brilliant as catchy. Like the Queers, their four tracks are different recordings of tracks from previous releases. “Mommy Got Beheaded By A Bimbo” originally appeared on their self-titled debut. This song tells the tale of Jason Vorhees’ love for his deceased mother. This track is classic Jasons all the way, with a rocking rhythm and plenty of “whoas” throughout. “Crazy Ralph (Shut Your Mouth)” from the debut is also re-recorded for this release. Fans of the Friday the 13th series will certainly remember Ralph’s warnings to those who dare visit Camp Crystal Lake. Classic 90s pop punk vibes are present in the form of Screeching Weasel-like guitar leads. “Red-Blooded American Punk Rock” is actually the original version of the same track that ended up on their last full length, Blood In The Streets. The diversity of styles in this track should be highlighted. This track showcases their love for all things 80s heavy metal. This rally cry is full of cheesy guitar solos and leads. There are many arena-style backing vocals throughout. “I Dowanna Be A Mongoloid” concludes the Jasons side of Unhappy Campers. This re-recorded track from their debut is a Jason Vorhees love story. Ramonescore fans will quickly take to the quick chord changes and catchy vocals. The track concludes with an amazing bridge that slows down the quick tempo which highlights the instrumentation.

Unhappy Campers checks all the boxes for a good split release. Pairing a veteran band with a band they later influenced serves many purposes. It can easily turn each other’s fans onto the other band. Also, it can be seen as the musical equivalent of passing the torch. Though, after last year’s amazing Save The World, I don’t believe the Queers will be going away anytime soon. This split would serve as a great introduction to either band. Existing fans would certainly enjoy these different versions of these tracks.