Bleached appear to be the best modern interpretation of an authentic nineties riot grrrl group yet with their debut album 'Ride Your Heart' infused with punk vocals and heavy guitar. There's no doubt that this LA duo, formally of Mika Miko, have some sass about them and they are definitely bringing back female punk rock with a bang.
'Dreaming Without You' is the latest single to be released from the album and truly reflects their retro (can we call nineties retro yet?) style and attitudes. Immediately clear are the lo-fi heavy guitar riffs that kick off the track and instantly establish the sense of nostalgia and gloominess reflected in the lonely lyrics. As it continues, it almost drowns out the raw punk vocals which remind one strongly of the unrefined but totally expressive vocals of Bratmobile.
It's much more melodic and much less chaotic than a lot of characteristically boisterous riot grrrl bands; it's easy listening if you're a beginner to this kind of noise, though the general backing music can get a bit generic at times.
Continue reading: Bleached - Dreaming Without You Single Review
Albums of note… In 2013, the apparent year of the comeback, Depeche Mode made a mini-one of their own, with their first album in four years Delta Machine. Dave Gahan’s still at the vocal helm and the group still enjoy looking at the darker side of pop. Something they’re still doing with great success according to our writer Dom Gourlay, who surmised “'Delta Machine' is a worthy comeback that while not quite hitting the peaks conquered so magnificently by 'Black Celebration', 'Violator' and 'Songs Of Faith And Devotion' back in the day, still sits comfortably in the upper quartile of Depeche Mode's finest releases to date.”
Another gaining the love of Contactmusic this week is Josh Kumra who released his debut LP Good Things Come To Those Don’t Wait. Give he’s only about 20/21 himself, it seems like he’s taken the title of his album to heart, and this Sony release looks set to make him a star early on in his career. Our man Jim Pusey reckoned “At its heart, Good Things Come To Those Who Don't Wait is a solid singer songwriter effort. It elevates itself beyond that by successfully dabbling in a number of musical styles along the way, while ensuring that Josh doesn't ever sound out of his depth. Certainly one of his strengths is his voice, and he gives himself ample opportunity to showcase that here too.”
Bleached have released their debut summer-tinged album 'Ride Your Heart' in the UK at a perfect time. As the sun comes out to visually tease us, despite needing a wooly when you step outside in April, the LA sisters bring a sugary slice of American sunshine to our ears, so you can envisage that you're there; maybe even cruising along in a 'cool' car with your head out the window like an enthusiastic pup and your ombre hair blowing in the breeze. Just look at the artwork for inspiration. 'Ride Your Heart' is a rush of giddy punk spirit, citing obvious influences from Vivian Girls and The Ramones.
Jennifer and Jessie Clavin are doing the family thang, just like fellow LA gals Haim and, of course, The Ramones did. The sisters used to be in Mika Miko and elements of their garage-y sound are channeled through 'Ride Your Heart'. There are some feisty track titles like bouncy opener 'Looking For A Fight' and 'Dead Boy'. But, ultimately, through the angsty front, Bleached sing about love and loss. A lot of the lyrics are about boys, like most female singers/bands so they're not so unusual in that sense, but the dirty guitars and unforgiving bass give the duo an irresistible edge. 'Outta My Mind' offers up a chorus containing, "Get outta my mind boy, you know I think about you all the time" and 'Dead In Your Head' truthfully utters "I never wanted to lose the boy I loved the most".
"Next Stop waiting for the train, next stop smoking in the raaaain, next stop kissing you goodbye, next stop tears in your eyes", is sang effortlessly over the trashy riff, tingling cymbals and backing 'aaahs', making 'Next Stop' a flawless sing-a-long. The sharpness of this record is what favours it the most. Only two songs reach the four-minute marker, which reiterates the hasty punk essence even more. 'Waiting By The Telephone' is an infectious, let-loose song that is wrapped up in under two minutes. 'Love Spells' and 'Searching Through The Past' up the ante with simple yet concrete chords, while less intense songs like 'Guy Like You' and 'Ride Your Heart' still maintain the bewildering buzz conjured by the rest of the record.
Continue reading: Bleached - Ride Your Heart Album Review