Ride Your Heart, BLEACHED’s new album, arrives just in time to remind you women can rock, and especially punk rock. Before I can review this album I need you to get three familiar sounds in your head. First, BLONDIE’s seminal Parallel Lines. Then, think of the MISFITS self-titled album. Lastly, BLACK LIPS, any album. Now, take out all the guys and substitute chicks, add a definite LA-influence garage punk sound, and some early GOGO’s Belinda Carlisle-sounding vocals, and you are close to what BLEACHED, San Fernando’s latest non-porn export, is like. Ride Your Heart, out April 2 on the Dead Oceans label, is the first full length release by these two sisters/good friends. We’ve recently also had the pleasure to chat with them in an entertaining interview.
Let’s call it crusty bubblegum punk, not because it’s girly and shallow (which it isn’t), but because it sticks to you the way be-bop and pop does. BLEACHED have elements of early rock’n’roll (CHUCK BERRY, FATS DOMINO) and surf guitar, with jackhammer bass lines over rat-a-tat-tat 4/4 beats, all of it softened with back up “ahh-ahh-ahhs.” Sisters Jessie and Jennifer Carlin, previously of MIKA MIKO, sing about hoping for that guy (Waiting by the Telephone), and about regretting past mistakes (Searching Through the Past). The album begins with Looking for a Fight warning you to stay home, if you know what’s good for you. In the tradition of ’77 style punk like THE CLASH and GUN CLUB, BLEACHED add a layer all their own, with guitar tones that make the songs not just catchy but also musically accomplished. “Time to think about /what you lost/if you know baby/ it’s going to hit you hard” from Dead in your Head. This is a great “getting-ready” album, and an excellent debut. Let the ladies rock.