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-- Brad Tyer

The Queers
Don't Back Down
Lookout! Records

Every time I start thinking that anything anyone might still call punk rock is finally and incontrovertibly not going to be worth listening to, something like Don't Back Down comes screaming through the sky: a better Ramones record than even the Ramones could remember releasing.

It's the fifth full-length CD of the Queers's 14-year-career, and while every 20-year-old with a guitar "filters" pop through punk -- mostly because they can't really help it -- Queer kingpin Joe Queer and the present lineup of B-Face (bass) and Hugh (drums) know that stupid pop songs really are just stupid pop songs until you run some serious voltage through them. The Queers zap these tunes with such a charge that you can't tell if you're listening to pop filtered through punk or the other way around, and couldn't care less. They're too busy chanting "Born to Do Dishes," "I'm OK, You're Fucked," "Brush Your Teeth," "No Tit!" or any of the other goofball slogans that pop up at amazingly frequent intervals over these 14 tracks. Tight harmonies, perfectly toned chords, simple solos, propulsive rhythms and more energy than Green Day can muster in a month's worth of Woodstocks. Send more. (*** 1/2)

-- Brad Tyer

CDs are rated on a one to five star scale.

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