The Queers

Munki Brain

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Yes, "pop-punk" has gone light years beyond the point of parody and annoyance by the early 21st century. It seems like every time you switch on MTV, there's some new group of barely pubescent gentlemen with spiffy duds and freshly primped Mohawks performing singalong nursery songs. But a band like the Queers is a different beast entirely, as they helped create the style that is now commonplace -- merging punk riffs with power pop hooks. And they're still at it on their umpteenth release, 2007's Munki Brain. Unlike the younger pop-punk bands, the Queers have obviously studied their power pop of yore, as the album-opening "Overdue" sounds like it could have fit on an early Cheap Trick album. But on the other hand, songs such as "Girl About Town" would sound simply dandy being blasted from a stage on the Warped Tour in the mid-afternoon. And you've got to love a band that isn't afraid to let its admiration of surf music and doo wop come shining through, as the band does on "I Can't Stay Mad at You." As the Queers prove throughout Munki Brain, not all pop-punk is annoying rubbish.

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