Bleached, Ride Your Heart
Ex-Mika Miko sisters make wonderfully unabashed and direct garage rock
Bleached’s motto might be “Sisters just wanna have fun.” The L.A. four-piece orbits around Jennifer and Jessie Clavin, the two primary songwriters and sisters who specialize in exuberant garage-punk. After the dissolution of the Clavins’ previous band — the locally-beloved, yelpier Mika Miko — the pair took joyous refuge in writing sweet, revved-up three-chord songs together. Last year Jennifer told Spinner, “I feel like I wouldn’t be playing music if I didn’t have that [connection] with my sister…I really feel like we complete each other’s music situation.”
Ride Your Heart comes down a bit from the wide-eyed, sugar rush-ed bubblegum punk of early singles, mixing in some slower tempos and minor-key melodies, but Bleached’s primary m.o. is still the simple, sunshine-y, chunky-chorded Ramones-esque jam. Garage isn’t just a facile label here — the sisters actually learned their instruments in their parents’ suburban L.A. garage growing up — and the no-frills approach makes much of the album wonderfully unabashed and direct. “Love Spells,” a perfectly punchy ditty with a great snotty descending melody, is followed immediately by the irresistible hyperactive punk doo-wop of “Searching through the Past.” The band doesn’t exist to kill its idols — Jennifer has said that she’s “obsessed with Blondie,” which partially explains naming a song “Waiting by the Telephone” — but to gleefully romp alongside them like they’re at a raucous, imaginary punk fantasy camp.