The Queers

Beyond the Valley...

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One of the odder entries in the Queers' extensive catalog, 2000's Beyond the Valley... is a much darker and less overtly funny album than almost anything the band has ever done. There's a lot of anger expressed in these songs, and little of it is of the cheerful middle-finger-salute variety head Queer Joe King specializes in. (It may be worth noting that this was the Queers' first release after the 1999 death of King's longtime friend and bandmate Hugh O'Neill.) "Little Rich Working Class Oi-Boy," "Stupid F**king Vegan," "Strangle That Girl," and "Babyface (Boo-Hoo-Hoo)" are a lot more cutting and vengeful than is normally King's style, and frankly, two songs with titles involving King's favorite word for female genitalia is probably one too many. There are a few blasts of good old-fashioned Queers fun, especially the catchy singalongs "I Just Called to Say F**k You" and "I Hate Your F**king Guts," but overall, this record sounds like it was uncomfortable to make, and at times it's certainly uncomfortable to listen to. The weird, near psychedelic title track, a droning, Velvet Underground-style riff topped with a free association mantra by King, is among the most unexpected things the Queers have ever done.

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