Bleached – Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?
Bleached, the creative outlet of guitar-slinging sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin, now resides in the public consciousness. The band’s song “Waiting By the Telephone” blares in a current Toyota commercial – the one that co-stars Jennifer and uncomfortably likens band dads to groupies. The poppy punk throwback might secretly sound kind of alright to those averse to anything recorded in the past 20 years. Likewise, it suits the listening needs of a younger audience, giving it a multi-generational appeal lacking from ad-friendly Vampire Weekend or Black Keys cuts.
None of this should surprise longtime fans of the band. Since 2011, the sisters have pushed the catchy, fun elements of the Ramones and other obvious-for-a-good-reason punk bands, mixing that with their own stories about road dogging, romance and recovery.
This formula of TV-ready hooks, nostalgic sincerity and millennial storytelling sounds sharper than ever on Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough? – the band’s first album in over three years and a collection that should impress fans of that blamed toe-tapper of a commercial.
From the opening of “Heartbeat Away,” it’s clear the sisters’ guitar rock vision still lights the way. As axe-slingers, they’ve gone from the carefree simplicity of The Damned to the classic rock showmanship of Cheap Trick. Their ever-present balance of rock ‘n’ roll brawn and pop finesse makes “Daydream,” standout track “Rebound City” and “Real Life” must-listens for those missing mean, nasty rock from the West Coast.
Other tracks, such as “Hard to Kill,” “Someone Dial 911” and “Kiss You Goodbye” sound like tributes to The Cure, The The, Echo & the Bunnymen and other accessible yet outside the box weirdoes from the playlist you hear at every Fellini’s. Basically, they’ve got all your punk friends’ secondary rock interests covered.
The final track breaks both molds for one of the band’s most rewarding songs to date. Acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies make “Shitty Ballet” a ’90s-honoring slow-burner before it ignites into the sort of post-punk horror show staged by the sisters’ brilliant former band, Mika Miko.
In all, Bleached celebrates its shared influences in a way that should please carriers of that one summer 2019 earworm that doesn’t involve Billy Ray Cyrus.
Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?