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Bleached - Don't You Think You've Had Enough? (Album Review)

Tuesday, 16 July 2019 Written by Huw Baines

Bleached’s return is powered by a desire for change. ‘Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?’ is the first album that the sisters Clavin, Jennifer and Jessica, have recorded since deciding to get sober, and it’s also a bold attempt to fashion their winningly bratty brand of garage-rock into more expressive, sophisticated shapes.

At times, they are very successful in this pursuit. Valley to LA is a majestic slice of nostalgic west coast cool that slides a whirring organ into an infectious mash of pop-rock hooks. Similarly, the manner in which the closer, Shitty Ballet, explodes from its acoustic beginnings into a let-it-all-out rager is quite thrilling.

But in the grand scheme of things these songs represent only subtle shifts from the blueprints of Bleached’s last outing, the hit and miss ‘Welcome the Worms’. Elsewhere, the palette has been switched out entirely.

Hard to Kill and Kiss You Goodbye are competent Blondie lifts that move with finesse over dancefloor-ready basslines, while Silly Girl’s chiming guitars and propulsive percussion are of the sort that regularly interest Paramore’s Hayley Williams, a semi-recent tourmate. 

When Bleached land these new tricks smoothly, ‘Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?’ is tremendous fun. Like its predecessor, though, there are sticking points that they haven’t yet found a way around.

Facing off against the record’s best writing, songs like the opener Only a Heartbeat Away and I Get What I Need are cut off at the knees by clumsy melodies or awkward phrasing. Somebody Dial 911, meanwhile, has a killer central lyric—"Somebody dial 911, before I fall in love."—but can’t decide if it’s happier ripping off the Cure or Mystery Jets’ Two Doors Down.

It’s readily apparent here that Bleached have the capacity to be a truly exciting band. It’s also true, though, that their inconsistency is the most consistent element of their sound. ‘Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?’ revels in its fresh moves but nevertheless finds most of its gold in familiar hills—with chunky guitars, snotty words and soaring hooks behind them the Clavins appear unstoppable.

Bleached Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu August 22 2019 - LONDON Lexington

Click here to compare & buy Bleached Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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