The Cute Lepers: Adventure Time

Ex-Brief plays out of his skin.

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He may be called Steve E Nix, but The Cute Lepers’ frontman is unlikely to be seen twirling across stages in flowery dresses. The former singer with The Briefs is clearly a full-time devotee at the church of punk rock.

This, the Seattle band’s third album is an unabashed re-tread through the era in which Britpunk segued into day-glo new wave and slick power-pop. This is no bad thing of course so long as you require nothing more than the obligatory three chords and the truth.

So Buzzcocks-ish buzzsaw guitars, Elvis Costello-inspired melodies, sunglasses and a sharp-edged mod sensibility are the order of the day here.

The welcome addition of two female backing singers helps elevate the likes of Noisy Song and Tribute To Charlie (an unlikely homage to 67-year-old UK Subs singer Charlie Harper) into the realm of post-Motown girl-pop and prevents The Cute Lepers from drowning in their own machismo.