|The Queers: The Queers Are Here
Label: MVD Visual
"I think a lot of the young bands get together and they see the success of a…Green Day, or Offspring, and say 'Yeah, I want to fucking make it,'" says singer and guitarist Joe Queer in an interview clip on The Queers Are Here, right before it cuts to a scorching 1995 live rendition of "Hi, Mom It's Me." "But me, I just play music to try to get laid and fucking travel." And travel he did, taking his band around the world with the likes of the Ramones, GBH, and the Hard Ons. This DVD captures the dozen-year span from 1993 to 2005.
Some of the content here is sterile, fixed-camera footage of the band standing mostly still and bashing out anthems like "This Place Sucks" at breakneck speed. Some of it's brilliant, like the low-budget – yet hilariously appropriate – “Beach Blanket Bingo”-with-punk bikers period-piece video of the Queers covering the Beach Boys' "Don't Back Down." But the thrown-together hodgepodge is perfectly appropriate in the punk oeuvre: Start with a low budget, mix in a few laughs, and rock like there's no tomorrow. Original vocalist Wimpy even gets into the act for a rendition of "We'd Have a Riot Doing Heroin" and "Terminal Rut" at a show in Italy, making a "guest appearance" long after he'd left the band.
In the end, it's a documentary-through-live-performance piece that punk fans need in their library, a fresh shot of do-it-yourself rawk that made so many early punkers so great – as opposed to the modern, commercialized revivalists such as MxPx, New Found Glory, My Chemical Romance and Blink-182. They have their own charms, 'tis true (such as, they can sing a lot better), but it's not Punk with a capital P, like Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten, the Ramones and Joe Strummer. Joe Queer rails on against many of the new punks in interview cuts throughout the hour-long production, naming names and explaining in detail why they're poseurs. He's not resentful that the Queers never were as popular as Blink-182, don't get him wrong. It's just that the heart of punk is its attitude, which you completely lose once you become subservient to The Man. The Queers never got big, they never grew up, and they're still kicking around, keeping it real. And probably making no money whatsoever. Real dudes playing real punk. As a New Hampshire resident myself, I'm proud these dudes come from my neck of the woods.
~Mojo Flucke, PhD