Punk Road Warriors on a Saturday Night

January 24th, 2011

The Queers/the Apers – Mercury Lounge – January 22, 2011

The Queers, a high-energy punk-rock band, headlined Saturday’s fully packed Mercury Lounge early show. The group, formed nearly 30 years ago in New Hampshire, has a deep catalog and just released yet another studio album, Back to the Basement, last year. Their set, with a cover of the Ramones’ “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker,” “No Tit,” “You’re Tripping,” “I Hate Everything” and “Hi Mom It’s Me” in just the first five minutes, drew heavily from the past. Frontman Joe Queer, the lone original member in the current lineup, keeps the group touring most of the year, and each time coming through, the fans ask for more.

The Dutch band the Apers, who formed in 1996, have been supporting the Queers on this tour. Some nonsensical but fun lyrics like “Thighs like heaven, soft like a Marlboro Light” and “I’d drink some urine/ Start a fight between the Germans and the Jews” stood out during their set, but left me wondering what exactly they were talking about. When put in context—for example, the latter comes from “Whatever It Takes,” a song about getting over someone—almost everything frontman Kevin Aper sings about is girls: pop punk done right. The Apers don’t make it Stateside much anymore, so those who caught this show were lucky. —Kirsten Housel