Bleached – Welcome The Worms Review


The Califorian Clavin sisters are back with their second studio album Welcome The Worms which follows their strong 2013 debut Ride Your Heart. Now they recruited Micayla Grace as a bass player and this should add a sense of evolution to their lo-fi, surf rock sound. Their first album had many easily catchy tracks with easy melodies and structures of which they worked to maximum effect. But you know what they say about the second album…

‘Keep On Keeping On’ is a track full of purpose with a ringing riff and industrious bass line. It is rapid and aggressive, yet retains the keen pop sensibility and classic vocal harmonies. There is a fair bit more happening with the quantity of instrumentation too, with the organs heightening the hooks and the bass anchoring the rhythm. A fair few shifts in tone and structure keep hitting the point home that the group can hammer out infectious tunes. ‘Wednesday Night Melody’ is arguably a little weaker than their lead single, yet it still maintains the groups more direct and tangible sound with sturdier percussion and more prominent rhythm sections. This translates into a more stomp-rock track in this case, but it is lifted by sweeping harmonies and strong vocal performances in general.

‘Sour Candy’ is a track is musically a Weezer song that morphs gradually into a Killers track. Though on those terms it is nothing spectacular, the delivery is tight and energetic whilst Jen Clavin’s vocal performance shines particularly well here. Her assured tones and effortless shifts in that regard don’t steal away from her undeniable match for the music on this track. In a similar way, the lead and backing vocals for ‘Sleepwalking’ and their slight distortions meet nicely with the crashing instrumentation. ‘Chemical Air’ only hammers home the message that Jen’s vocals make the album for again the music is nothing unheard of. The final two tracks offer up smoother and deeper tones and a melodic ode to pop punk. The album is lacking a bit nuance which is largely reserved for the singles. Despite this, it is hard to deny the energy of the album which will translate brilliantly to their live performances. On top of this the vocal quality and tuneful nature of each track may leave a few earworms behind so a solid effort, but with room to improve for Bleached.

Bleached – Welcome The Worms – 7/10

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Sunday Suggestion – Bleached – Dead In Your Head

Last year the Clavin sisters from California released their debut studio album Ride Your Heart. It was an album with that bold West Coast demeanour and attitude, but one that they distinctively made their own with a lo-fi theme throughout the garage, surf rock and rough neo-psychedelica; set around these were the harmonious, classic pop vocals to give their tracks a bit of shine and wider melody to the average listener. The song that best equates to these traits is ‘Dead In Your Head’. It’s a track with an infectious and steady driving riff that feeds off into a bare bass line is built upon again with sweeping vocal harmonies and slightly warped riffs. The hopeless dreaming and contemplative lyrics appeal to that swooning teen listener, but with music that gives a little more than the pop-like qualities it provides.

EP Review – Bleached – For The Feel

The Californian Clavin sisters a.k.a Bleached are following on form their debut LP Ride Your Heart last year; they are back in time to spread some more lo-fi swooning and dreaming for those late, fading summer nights with it’s September 16th release. The title track was unveiled towards the end of June uses a driving jingle of guitars which are met with urgent and short percussion that tumbles to your feet before and during each chorus. Jen Clavin’s vocal sweeps over the track in a dreamy and classic pop rock fashion as it did so well for the duo’s debut last year. Besides that though it isn’t very much different as it was written for  The drums perhaps sound a little more upfront which sharpens the beat somewhat, but aside from that and a little more directness it’s very much Bleached circa 2012/13. ‘Poison Ivy’ is a steady, tumbling track with a classic rock bass line which the guitars shift and reverberate from. It sets up a simple structure that is mimicked by Jen’s vocal and lyrical delivery with a slight playfulness and cool nature. It’s more faithful to classic rock garage styles than most things they’ve done and it’s presented as a complete replica. The EP also includes a cover of the Damned’s ‘Born To Kill’ and so concludes an EP that hasn’t moved on so far from last year but one that has no intentions of doing so in the first place. It’s very much tying up loose ends for their fans and they still sound good so why not?


Single Review – Bleached – For The Feel

Following on form their debut LP Ride Your Heart last year; California’s Bleached are back in time to spread some more lo-fi swooning and dreaming for the summer. They are to release a digital EP entitled For The Feel on Dead Ocean records on July 22nd. The title track is the first release from it as the Clavin sisters let us know that they haven’t moved too far in about a year, but still sound rather engaging and fun is that’s worth anything. The driving jingle of the guitars are met with urgent and short percussion that tumbles to your feet before and during each chorus. Jen Clavin’s vocal sweeps over the track in a dreamy and classic pop rock fashion as it did so well for the duo’s debut last year. Besides that though it isn’t very much different. The drums perhaps sound a little more upfront which sharpens the beat somewhat, but apart from that and a little more directness; then this track would fit hand in glove into Ride Your Heart. It is only a summer EP though from what I can see and though it plucks up a lot of personal enjoyment, you would hope for something a little more substantial for their next album.


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

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