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Bleached Reveal a Matured Sound at Music Hall of Williamsburg

April 12th, 2016

Bleached – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 11, 2016

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Growing up in California’s San Fernando Valley, sisters Jennifer and Jessie Clavin honed their punk-rock roots at the all-ages DIY venue the Smell. After their all-girl punk group, Mika Miko, disbanded, they resolved to continue their musical collaboration as Bleached, and for their sophomore effort, Welcome the Worms, they escaped to Joshua Tree with famed producer Joe Chiccarelli (Morrissey, the Strokes). Jennifer was recovering from a toxic relationship and Jessie had been evicted from her house. Channeling personal dysfunction, the sisters and bassist Micayla Grace crafted an emotionally charged record full of narratives about broken romances and the vapid Los Angeles scene. Although their foundation is laid firmly in garage rock, Chiccarelli’s production drew out confident melodies that harken back to the Shangri-Las.

Kicking off the week at Music Hall of Williamsburg, the Left Coasters arrived with microphone stands and drum kit adorned with daisies. The ladies rattled off a few from their recent album with the help from touring drummer Nick Pillot. The night was in full throttle with “Keep On Keepin’ On,” while Jen needed to do little coaxing for the crowd to dance along to the thrashing “Sleepwalking.” Stalwart fans were rewarded with oldie but goodie “Searching Through the Past” and the distortion-heavy B-side “Electric Chair.” As if digging into their catalog weren’t enough, the girls covered the Ramones“Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World” in true punk-rock fashion.

There’s a resemblance to fellow Californians Best Coast on “Think of You,” but listening to new material like “Sour Candy,” their sound has matured under Chiccarelli’s guidance. There’s no doubt the ladies have stage presence. As Pillot jumped in for a crowd-surfing session, Jen didn’t skip a beat, taking over on the drums for set-closer “Dead in Your Head.” To fully culminate the evening, Zoe Reign, lead singer of the opener, No Parents, joined Bleached for an encore, in which they covered the classic Misfits horror-punk jam, “Hybrid Moments.” —Sharlene Chiu