I’ve always had an appreciation for Punk.. somehow I missed that era of music when it was the most popular, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to make up for lost time! The newest to hit my iTunes is a true ear worm (is that saying passé already?) from all girl punk band Bleached, called Welcome the Worms.
Raw energy and a bit of a garage sound can’t hide the gems in this album. The opening track, Keep on Keepin’ On, is in your face, and gives you an indication of what to expect for the rest of the album. Trying to Lose Myself Again features a killer guitar solo from Jessie Clavin and speaks about what most youth go through.. not wanting to live their life for anyone but themselves.
Sleepwalking starts out a little softer (if there is anything ‘softer’ on this album) and highlights the vocals of Jennifer Clavin more than the previous tracks as well as some very noticeable bass grooves from bassist Micalya (who also contributed songwriting on this album). Wednesday Night Melody love the intentional guitar feedback noises in this one.. makes it a little 60’s feeling in spots, or sort of reminiscent of Bananarama or the Go-Gos girl bands. One of the catchier toe tapping songs of the album.
A cleaner sound than Wednesday Night Melody gives Chemical Air a fresh spot on the middle of the album, and is followed by Sour Candy, perhaps the most ‘commercial’ sounding song on the album which interestingly starts out with sound effects of a car being started and driven away.. has a be-bop groove of Happy Days and The Fonz, poodle skirts and all the cliche stuff that you find in old classic tv reruns.. one can imagine bobby-socking this at the sock hop.
Desolate Town takes us right back into the punk with distant distorted vocals and super fuzz guitars. I’m All Over the Place (Mystic Mama) and Hollywood We Did it all Wrong round out this 10 track album. Influenced by such bands as The Ramones, Souixsie and the Banshees, Generation X, The Kinks, Merle Haggard (yes Merle!), Blondie – one can hear those strong punk and female influences in this group, combined with their own questions on life, relationships and messing up all while embracing the good with the horrible and ‘learning to overcome it all through music.’
“Sometimes [writing this album] made me hate myself and sometimes it made me love myself,” singer Jen Clavin admits. “But being aware of how I felt is what I wanted.”
Although a typical theme of ruined romance floats through the album, the real power is in Jen figuring out herself through lyrics so straight, identifiable and honest. This was a first for the girl who safely hid behind a cheeky misdemeanor. She did a lot of messing up and even more digging into herself.*
Bleached are a self described ‘live band first and foremost’, and you can catch them live, at The Biltmore Cabaret on April 28th. For more on the band check them out on
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photo courtesy of Bleached via @brittneychristie