- 23 Jul 19
A sober record from sister act.
What’s in a name? Bleached might be accused of wearing their hearts on their sleeve – the name being somewhat reminiscent of another follicularly monikered band, Blondie. But the resemblance doesn’t end there. From the bouncy ‘Atomic’-esque intro of ‘Hard to Kill’ to the strutting new wave funk of ‘Kiss You Goodbye’, there’s more than a passing nod to Debbie Harry’s insouciant stylings.
That’s not for one minute to dismiss the Jessie and Jennifer Clavin sister-act of being a second rate tribute band. Truth is, the DNA of many great female-fronted bands can be heard in the music: Joan Jett, The Bangles, The Go-Go’s, Holly and the Italians. You get the picture. The aesthetic is California sang-froid, wedded to cheap guitars, no-frills arrangements and superior melodicism. Tales of letting go of the past while looking forward to the future – all wrapped up with an irresistibly catchy pop-punk nous. The sisters are a tight knit unit, with Jessie handling the bulk of the instrumentation, while Jennifer doubles down on lyrics and melody.
The album title might well be the question they asked themselves prior to recording, as it’s reportedly their first album produced while not under the influence of alcohol. As Jennifer attests, “Writing these songs while sober became somewhat of a spiritual experience…” It’s certainly a focused and cohesive collection of tunes, thanks no doubt to their newfound temperance. I’m feeling inspired: I might adopt that approach for my next review.