The Queers are the greatest pop punk band of the last two decades, rivaling such groups as, “Groovie Ghoulies,” “The Mr. T Experience,” and “Screeching Weasel.” "Grow Up," although not quite as good as “Love Songs for the Retarded” or “Don’t Back Down,” is one of their better albums which any fan of the group should own. It has a unique sound compared to their other albums, having the feel of one of Joe Queers’ major inspirations, the beach boys. The songs are long and melodic, but not slow, and there is enough variety on the album to keep the listener interested through all thirty-four minutes.
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The album starts off with an excellent instrumental entitled, “Squid Omelet.” It rivals Steakbomb from “Beat Off” (Grow Up’s predecessor) as quite possibly The Queers’ best instrumental song. It is a minute and a half longer than Steakbomb which makes the two difficult to compare. The entire album feels more drawn out and well paced, while Beat Off had more of a frantic feel. Whichever sound is better is entirely a matter of personal opinion. I feel as though Beat Off had more instant classics while Grow Up is more of a well-rounded album, and both are vital to any Queers fan’s collection.
“Love, Love, Love” is the next song, definitely one of The Queers’ best ever, which also appeared on the album “Don’t Back Down.” This version is slightly less polished and has a slightly more mellow feel to the latter version. I am unsure as to which I prefer, but either way it’s a great way to start the album. The other great songs on the album are “I Met Her at The Rat,” “Burger King Queen,” and “Goodbye California.” These are all very long, melodic songs, which is unusual for The Queers, but any fan of the band’s other works will love this stuff. Unfortunately, the songs “Junk Freak” and “Rambo Rat” have that really angry feel to them that really ruins some Queers songs, like many of the ones on “Beyond the Valley…” The song “Gay Boy” also has some homophobic lyrics, but the lyrics sheet does include the disclaimer that, “We know some of these lyrics are pretty insensitive, but we didn’t write these songs to hurt anybody’s feelings. We were alot younger then, and even if we aren’t any smarter now, we’re not as dumb either. I did not find any of the lyrics so offensive that they ruined my enjoyment of the songs however.
Overall “Grow Up” is a great album that any Queers’ fan should own. It is not as good as some of their others, so I would recommend someone who has never heard them before try “Love Songs for the Retarded” or “Don’t Back Down” first. To anyone who has and enjoys those albums, I recommend they check out “Grow Up” immediately. It has a great, original style and some of their catchiest tunes.