Music Review: Bleached, Welcome The Worms

Published on March 25th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Feminism, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher


Bleached’s follow up to 2013s Ride Your Heart lets their intentions be known right out of the gate. Welcome The Worms is a heavy, swaggering album that conjures up sunbaked Los Angeles (and the attendant debauchery) and destroyed romances. That’s all wrapped in furiously catchy songs that are just delightful.

Bleached is Jennifer Calvin on vocals and guitar,=; her sister, Jessie Calvin on guitar and bass; and bassist Micayla Grace. It’s easy to follow the lineage of all-girl bands and arrive at Bleached, but it’s reductive and dismissive. They just kick ass. They rock. Hard.

It’s a huge sounding album. The driving, attitude-filled opener, “Keep On Keepin’ On” has a massive, rumbling bass line that churns in your chest. It’s a thrilling kick-off. The fiery “Sleepwalking” has a chunky, fuzzed-out guitar and Jennifer Calvin’s vocals are exquisitely gritty. It’s absolutely blistering.

Welcome The Worms is power pop with a serious bite. There’s enormous energy to Bleached. It’s impossible to not bob one’s head along with “Trying To Lose Myself Again,” with its buzzsaw beat and killer riffs. “Wasted On You” is sugary but hard, a rock-candy, classic-feeling track with a straight-up pogo beat.

“Wednesday Night Melody” is a less grungy, brighter track, but no less heavy. Jennifer Calvin’s voice here has a sharp clean quality, but the guitar and bass are positively filthy. It’s just a delight. The closer, “Hollywood We Did It All Wrong” is awash in sweet harmony and oceanic guitar with a subtle hint of keyboard that is very effective.

Bleached evoke hot nights and sunny days quite nicely. “Sour Candy” captures that early twenties, aimless vibe so perfectly lyrically (“Sugar drenched / these conversations / wash it down with cheap whiskey / and sooouuuurrrr candy”). It’s definitely got a southern California vibe and a furiously ear wormy chorus. Bleached strips away the grunge and replaces it with echoey guitar and a low down bass. It’s a more focused sound, yet dream-like. It’s mesmerizing.

There’s an incredible likability to Bleached and Welcome The Worms. You get a sense of who they are in just a few chords. The songs are tight and compact; there’s no extraneous noodling or superfluous nonsense. Welcome The Worms gets better and better the more you listen to it, and it’s a treat.

Welcome The Worms will be released on April 1 via Dead Oceans. You can stream the album on NPR.

Tour Dates:
Tue. March 29 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones *
Fri. April 1 – Hollywood, CA @ Amoeba Records In Store
Sat. April 2 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
Sun. April 3 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace *
Mon. April 4 – Austin, TX @ Sidewinder
Tue. April 5 – Houston, TX @ Walter’s *
Wed. April 6 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links
Fri. April 8 – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
Sat. April 9 – Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
Mon. April 11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
Wed. April 13 – Washington, DC @ DC9
Thu. April 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas *
Fri. April 15 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
Sat. April 16 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz POB
Sun. April 17 – Toronto, ON @ Garrison
Mon. April 18 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place *
Wed. April 20 – Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness
Thu. April 21 – Ferndale, MI @ Loving Touch
Fri. April 22 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Sat. April 23 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Mon. April 25 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
Tue. April 26 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Thu. April 28 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
Fri. April 29 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza
Sat. April 30 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
Mon. May 2 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
Wed. May 4 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
Thu. May 5 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
Thu. May 12 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
Tue. May 17 – Manchester, UK @ Gulivers

Wed. May 18 – London, UK @ Moth Club

Thu. May 19 – Brighton, UK @ The Great Escape Festival @ Horatios
Fri. May 20 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet

Sat. May 21 – Eindhoven, NL @ Stroomhuis
Tue. May 24 – Lille, FR @ Aeronof
Wed. May 25 – Everux, FR @ Abordage
Thu. May 26 – Metz, FR @ BAM
Fri. May 27 – Paris, FR @ Badaboum
Sat. May 28 – Antwerp, BL @ Het Bos
Mon. May 30 – Zurich, SW @ Eldorado
Sat. July 16-Sun. July 17 – Kansas City, KS @ Children’s Mercy Park – KRBZ Buzz Beach Ball 2016

* with No Parents

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