The high-speed, teen-angsty attitude of “Terminal Boredom” is the perfect opening to The Cute Lepers’ debut Can’t Stand Modern Music. Catchy, poppy, and punky, it sets the stage for this collection of 11 bouncy pop-punk anthems by this Seattle-area band that emerged after the demise of The Briefs. Songs like “It’s Summertime, Baby” and “Prove It” break it up a bit by leaning more towards rock territory, with the latter capturing a strong early Elvis Costello vibe. Add to that the mod flair to numbers like “So Screwed Up” and you have all the trappings of a “modern retro” album. Some people may stick up their noses at that, but not me; good pop is good pop, end of story.
Can’t Stand Modern Music has an interesting mix of influences while still retaining a core pop aesthetic and with a fair amount of polish.