Bleached – Ride Your Heart Review

I’ll be honest before I start… I wrote this about two weeks ago and totally forgot about it… Ahem… So here it is! Belated but here nonetheless!

So Bleached are from the sunny golden coast and have a surf-rock, garage-punk sound with vocals akin to Blondie or The Donnas or somewhere in between. Though it does sound like you’ve heard it all before don’t be too quick to cast it off back to it’s melodic surf in the Pacific. When you compare the Clavin sisters of Jennifer and Jessie to their current Californa competition in Haim and Best Coast, then at this present moment they might probably win out. They aren’t as devisive as Haim and are less ‘commercial’ or ‘mainstream’ which seems to be a nail in your coffin if you’re a young band these days. Furthermore they don’t look at life in the Sunshine State with the same rose-tinted glasses that Best Coast might do aswell. Therefore Ride Your Heart is a pretty solid debut for Bleached.

‘Next Stop’ is a great single of punk-pop melody which classic, rapid rythm sections that churn through the song along with everything else and it instantly makes the song ‘catchy’ and appealing while Jennifer’s classic vocals gives the surf-rock, speed-demon instrumentals some stability and combined; pull you in and leave you humming the tune for eternity. But that’s the songs minimum impact as at most it will have you jumping around like a lunatic and there is nothing wrong with that. The lyrics too don’t add fuel to the Californa sterotype that’s always shoved in our faces either which is quite refreshing in that sense, even if it’s about another broken love affair but lyrically it’s more vengeful than hopeful about it. ‘Looking For a Fight’ like ‘Next Stop’ is just over two minutes of classic guitar work that might also have you bouncing off the walls but with a more isolated vocal that moves above the music well and gives a sense of focus to the song and the lyrics which elude to what the title suggests which you can take note of after you’ve done yourself an injury.

‘Searching Through the Past’ is a little less like it’s trying to drill a hole in your head but the energy is still supplemented by how it’s a bass driven song and lyrically it’s a little more considered and in a sense more pop-like aswell as being a little more hopeful on the issue of a love-affair then some other songs on the album and in that case is a little more cheerie. ‘Outta My Mind’ has a more steady rythm guitar sound to it with less isolated but more harmonic vocals from the Clavin sisters and this gives the song a little more flexiblity on the chorus or on the instumental sections to go up or down a gear which gives the song a good sense of depth. But the time you get songs like ‘Dead Boy’ you’ll probably be too knackered to keep going crazy and perhaps to some the album is too energetic and you could say at times their is little chance for the lyrics to shine or for the instuments to breathe and have room to do their jobs. However songs like ‘Guy Like You’ certainly fufill that role with it’s slow jangling rythm guitars and slide guitar solo’s with it’s percussion driven outro aswell breaks up all those energetic elements very well. The final track ‘When I Was Yours’ is more like an 80’s girlband pop song especially with the vocal perfomance and talking section and all the vocal harmonies that are backed-up with tonnes of melody and a more distant energy from the rythm section which you could say is more vocal driven too. Though it may be tempting to dismiss Bleached as soon as you think of the Californian music sterotype; you’ll be hard-pressed to criticise them on many aspects of what you have to consider is their debut as Bleached. You could say some songs were just their to fill the energetic fix the Clavin sisters seem to have but there is also a time and aplace for it where it really works. It perhaps doesn’t cater for every situation you find yourself in but on the whole the album just works well, is full of energy but not all time and musically it’s quite simple yet very effective. Perhaps they could do a little more in that area in the future but im scraping the bottom of the barrell here. It’s a bloody good album and it’s also their first so make sure you keep an eye on them for the future.

Bleached – Ride Your Heart = 8/10

(Images taken from www.decireves.com / http://www.spin.com/ )

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