CUTE LEPERS: You Don’t Have to Belong to the Religious Right” b/w “Any Danger Love: 7”

I’ll fully admit I’ve been lazy in collecting the pieces of the post-Briefs (or “Briefs-on-hiatus”) puzzle. I’m of two completely different minds with the Cute Lepers. Mind Number One: This should be sending me to the moon. Phil Spector-ish production, Elvis Costello-meets-slow-early-Clash sounds, the Elvis Presley green and pink color scheme for the name in the corner, the co-ed vocals. Oh-la-la. Someone did their homework. I definitely have a soft spot for dancing-in-the-front-row power pop stuff like this. And this 7” is definitely not bad or lacking. It’s actually quite good: every “t” is dotted, every “i” is crossed. Mind Number Two: Forgive me for bringing up past transgressions, but some of those Briefs dudes were calculators immaculately dressed as true believers who wrote some catchy-assed songs. They’d previously nailed grunge with Green Apple Quick Step (anybody remember “Space Cocksucker”? How about their track on I Know What You Did Last Summer?). They landed two separate major label deals when the gettin’s were somewhat good. The Briefs also yanked their entire past Dirtnap catalog and re-released it on BYO when it was still available on Dirtnap. So pardon me if I handle this with oven mitts, with a bit of caution, even though I like it.

 –todd (1-2-3-4 Go!)