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Rising from the still-warm ashes of SoCal post-punkers Mika Miko, sisters Jesse and Jennifer Clavin endeavored to trim the tumultuous bent of their former project with something only slightly more wholesome with a new project called Bleached. Spending their formative years a three-hour bus ride from Hollywood, deep in the suburban sticks of the San Fernando Valley, the Clavins discovered punk early, and used it as a direct attack against the stiff, corporate environment they grew up in. That information isn't essential in terms of gauging the breakneck, saccharine-sweet rock of Bleached, but it is a helpful Cliff's Note.
The band's debut album, Ride Your Heart, operates as a prism through which the Clavins can exorcise their suburban pop-punk dreams. Opening strong with the peppy “Looking for a Fight”—a nod to the bouncy, lady-rock aesthetics of early Bangles, Gun Club, Blondie and Joan Jett—Bleached pays more than a little allegiance to the jangly garage-punk of giants like The Ramones. As such, the band is all but fail-proof as both a nostalgic time-travel, and simply as a highly endearing rock 'n' roll torchbearer.
Paying tribute to yesteryear punk belies a sort of Tiger Beat milieu for the Clavins. Songs like “Dead Boy” and “Waiting by the Telephone” outline the band's affinities for timeless pop-song fodder such as lusting for boys, getting into trouble, and other well-worn lyrical terrain. Through smart and simple songwriting, however, Bleached is able to buffer the sentimentality of such seemingly adolescent attentions with barebones instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums), and lots of surf-rock melodies. “Dream Without You,” a dreamy beach-time sing-along, for example, is an instant summer classic.
The band's carefree approach and reputation as a formidable live group preceded a 2013 teeming with tour dates all over North America, and a recent trip to England and Europe, culminating in a set at the London Calling Festival in Amsterdam. The band also just finished up a stint on the popular annual Weezer Cruise. RYAN J. PRADO
Power-punk trio Terry Malts generated all kinds of biz buzz with their 2012 full-length, Killing Time. Touring the country and summarily devastating audiences with smart, hook-y odes in a slacker sheen, their work ethic errs on the side of prolific nevertheless. Hot on the heels of Killing Time–aside from a couple more 7-inch releases–came 2013's Nobody Realizes This is Nowhere, a snapshot of whip-smart observations and aimless opuses set to breakneck chords and driving drums, lead by the monotone hum of bassist/vocalist Phil Benson. It's a recipe for rock 'n' roll reverie. RYAN J. PRADO
MYSTIC BRAVESMore info coming soon...
TROPICAL POPSICLEPulling from an array of 1960s influences, multi-instrumentalist Timothy Hines created a damn near perfect mesh between rock, garage pop, surf and psychedelia under the moniker Tropical Popsicle.