With their debut single, "All Around the World (Punk Debutante)" and its chic, new-wave video, Cooler Kids provide the sound and vision to get into the groove and dance away Blue Mondays. As a lead-off to their debut album, that track giddily impresses with its space-age bleeps and raw rhythms offset by a poppy chorus. Even the inane lyrics about "zippers and pearls" add to the '80s nostalgia. Based on that song, "Punk Debutante" promises emptily satisfying '80s electro-pop wrapped snugly in neon fishnets. Yet on the rest of the album, the title cut's retro sounds are watered down into a bland hybrid of bad disco and '90s teen pop more reminiscent of Spice Girls than anything else. Sisely Treasure's vocals are sprightly and energetic, but underused in trite choruses and vapid verses. DJ Kazmir does himself an equal injustice with "Debutante's" insipid production. The '80s may well have been style before substance, but the artists of the era at least had a distinctive sound. With their first attempt at fashion music, these Kids just end up confused.
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