The Queers / The Atom Age - Split [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Queers / The Atom Age

Split [7 inch] (2009)

Asian Man / Solidarity

Split 7"s are always a crapshoot. It's hard to pair two bands effectively without either clashing too much or being exactly the same. The problem is amplified when one band is larger and more established than the other. Fans tend to blindly stick with their preferred band's side and never even explore the B-side with the newer band. These difficulties can not be any more visible than in the pairing of the the Queers (punk rock veterans of 20+ years) and the Atom Age (who are making their recording debut), nor could the conflicts be overcome any better.

The first half of the split is headed up by the Queers. I'm not overly familiar with the Queers but I know they're loved for drawing a line between Ramones-style punk and more `60s-styled pop and rock (the Beach Boys come up specifically). Their two tracks definitely lean towards the latter, with slightly slower tempos and sing-songy melodies reminiscent of surf rock. The Queers side came as a surprise but is highly enjoyable.

The flipside of the record is inhabited by the Bay Area's own the Atom Age and packs more of a punch than the Queers' two tracks. The Atom Age calls themselves 21st century rock 'n' roll and have been compared to Rocket from the Crypt (and not just because they both have horns) and that's a fair comparison. Their side is faster paced, but no less melodic than the Queers, keeping plenty of "whoa"s and hooks in stock. Overall, they bring the pace of the split up and close out with the show-stopping "Baby Says," ending on a furious, shout-along high note.

The pacing between the two sides may be a bit off putting but in terms of contributions, both bands do a great job. Overall, this is a great split that showcases some of the best qualities of an older band and serves as a great introduction to a newer one.