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Music Review: The Cute Lepers – Can’t Stand Modren Music

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I always liked some of Joan Jett's music but thought her wasted punk rocker look was a bit lame. Then I saw the now stunning Ms. Jett on the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony and I had the sudden urge to rub one out.  The next day a package from Joan Jett's record label, Blackheart Records, who have been in existence for twenty-five years, arrived in the mail.

The record was from a band called The Cute Lepers that was appropriately named Can’t Stand Modern Music. The band's lead vocalist and guitarist Steve E. Nix also had a long running band, The Briefs, who Blackheart Records Vice President Carianne Laguna was a big fan of and frequently played their music on her Sirius radio show called Joan Jett’s Radio Revolution.

When Laguna heard the Nix was forming a new band, she wasted no time signing them to Blackheart Records. Their debut album is scheduled to hit CD bins sometime in May 2008. In the meantime, the band is currently touring the U.S. with The Horrorpops.

As for Can’t Stand Modern Music, it is brief little record clocking in at just under 25 minutes and is a blast of old school punk mixed with a hint of the lighter “mall-punk” sound that is so in fashion these days.

One song that really stands out is "Cool City" with sly lyrics like “Even junkies have taste” that invokes a street-wise vibe that recalls Lou Reeds "New York." I would even venture to say The Cute Lepers also have a bit of early Green Day to their sound but thankfully aren’t trying to make their own American Idiot like many bands have done since its release. The next track "The News is Always the Same" has a smart surfer vibe to it that will probably translate well in live form.

The rest of the album really sticks to the punk style that The Sex Pistols made famous and Joan Jett’s first band The Runaways helped perfect with their female point of views.

The short running time Can’t Stand Modern Music is a good tease and I’m banking of the bands next album really showing off their talent. To hear streaming MP3s, you can visit the band's MySpace page.

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