Bleached - Don't You Think You've Had Enough? - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Bleached - Don't You Think You've Had Enough?

by Tim Sentz Rating:8 Release Date:2019-07-12
Bleached - Don't You Think You've Had Enough?
Bleached - Don't You Think You've Had Enough?

Los Angeles’ Clavin sisters (Jennifer & Jessica) have spent quite a bit of time pumping out infectious pop-punk for the last few years. After a handful of singles, they dropped their debut in 2013 Ride Your Heart with a follow-up in 2016 Welcome the Worms. Unfortunately, neither of those albums ever really struck a chord with me. I found their melodies too tampered with, a slight cumbersome approach to pop-punk that left me wanting more. It’s strange, considering they had a lot going for them that I typically find intriguing: strong riffs, a solid label that put them in good company with great talents like Phosphorescent and the Tallest Man on Earth, in addition to a good sound that’s translated across multiple years. And yet, I found myself switching them off every time they came up on my rotation. 

Fast forward to 2019, and their latest outing Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough? Bounces them back from oblivion with 12 irresistible slices of power-pop. Maybe it’s the change in producer; the trio enlisted Shane Stoneback this time around, a man who has worked for decades with some of music’s biggest names like Britney Spears and Aaron Carter, to the rising indie talents of mega-band Vampire Weekend and Sleigh Bells. Or, maybe it’s the fact that Jennifer Clavin wrote these songs being stone-cold sober. In the past, power-rock greats have gone the sober route only to deliver mediocre results, like Scott Weiland’s abysmal Happy In Galoshes. Whatever the case may be, Bleached return in 2019 with an invigorating album. It plucks the best parts of their previous records and folds them over and over again into these anthemic pieces that bring to mind Ex Hex and Helium’s Mary Timony. 

Opening with the immediately punchy “Heartbeat Away” the threesome pushes their abilities further than on their previous albums, writing catchy, hook-ridden rock songs that belong on compilations and radio stations across the globe. Even if there are moments of questionable pop influence, like on “Hard to Kill” with its whistling intro ala Foster the People or Foals, the band is firmly in control of the direction of each song, making each one flow naturally instead of forced. The sisters ping-pong off each other wonderfully on Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough? Something I didn’t feel they did very well on previous records. 

The Ex Hex similarities are there, and it was the right move for Bleached to ditch that rugged production they used on earlier material. “Daydream” shows Clavin belting out “Stuck inside a daydream” out of speakers and pulls the listener in organically, encouraging - no, demanding you sing along and bang your head. Every song practically on Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough? Demands this kind of response, like “Somebody Dial 911” and “Rebound City.” It’s that massive sound, like how the Japandroids perfected the sound of a five-piece rock band while only being a duo. Bleached accomplish the same thing, drawing influence from Sleater-Kinney’s more endearing moments. “Valley to LA” is a sunshine pop ballad that features a finger-licking good riff, and the handclaps of “Real Life” echo the cheering crowds at sporting events. 

Whatever pitfalls Enough has are permissible, as the album is a triumphant return for Bleached. They’ve cleared their heads and made an album to not only be cherished but blasted at parties to beckon patrons to the dance floor and shake their rumps. It’s amazing what a clear head does for some, that clarity gave Jennifer Clavin the motivation to put her songwriting at the forefront, and it’s paid off beautifully. This is one of the most fun rock records of the year, and towers over Ex Hex’s It’s Real for the power-pop record of the year accolade. 

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