L.A. garage-pop band gets high on numb love and Go-Go's-worthy tunes.
“I’ve been fucking high every night / Trying to lose myself again,” Bleached’s Jennifer Calvin tells us on the L.A. trio’s second album, as surfy guitar fuzz and party-crashing snare-snaps push zombified disillusion towards a weird kind of defiance. That tension between entropy and exhilaration, corrosion and confidence, makes Welcome to the Worms a complete kick; Bleached, which is led by Jennifer and her sister Jessica Clavin, sing about feeling like walking death (“Sleepwalking”), love that makes you feel numb (“Wasted On You”) and, of course, the creepy irresistible pull of Los Angeles itself (“Chemical Air”). Yet, their Go-Go’s/Best Coast/Weezer garage-pop tunes (given sharp, muscular focus by reliable alt-rock producers Joe Chiccarelli and Carlos de la Garza) make it all feel like an excuse to stay partying. “It’s good to feel just a little alive,” the Calvins note on “Wednesday Night Melody,” evoking the Joan Jett of “I Love Rock And Roll” as they celebrate the escapist waste-away power of their favorite vinyl. Bleached’s songs get that job done pretty well too.