The Queers have set aside their hardcore leanings for this effort, choosing instead to head for the beach. Munki Brain is filled with surf-rock and power pop, chock full of catchy choruses that are sing-along friendly.

That doesn't mean the band has lost its edge or its sense of humor; one of the most fun romps is a jab at President Bush called “Monkey in a Suit.” You can practically feel the ocean spray splashing your face during “Duke Kahanamoku,” the band's lively tribute to the sportsman who is credited with having invented surfing.

This buoyant style is not really a new thing for the Queers, they've done it before with songs like “Punk Rock Girls” and “I Can't Get over You.” But rather than being a one-off thing, Munki Brain makes it clear that the band has moved on, and they'll probably continue to surprise in the future.

Fans of the band's hardcore era can take comfort in the fact that Asian Man will be re-issuing many old titles this year, and Grata Video has just released a DVD with lots of vintage material called The Queers are Here.

Grade: B+