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Album Review

Bleached – Welcome The Worms

Bleached - Welcome The Worms

Bleached at their strongest and most realised.

Label: Dead Oceans
Released: 1st April 2016

Rating: ★★★★

Born out of those moments when it feels like the whole world is about to fall apart, ‘Welcome The Worms’ is the sound of a band reinvigorated and inspired. Torn away from a broken relationship, escaping pressures through excesses, losing it all and starting from scratch, on their second record, Bleached sound more vital than ever.

On ‘Welcome The Worms’, the LA-based trio undercut the glamour of their home city to create something entirely more down to earth. Enticing chorus hooks and shake-your-blues-off rhythms act as the perfect gleaming contrast to the band’s dirty and distorted guitars, presenting straight up punk rock with an attitude as wilful as it is wayward.

“Never really was the talking type”, Jennifer Clavin admits on ‘Sour Candy’. Combining a forthright honesty with a pop sheer, Bleached are not only tackling their problems head on, but also challenging everyone else to do the same. “You’ve been missing out, out on everything, everything is passing you by,” the band cry, taunting and goading the listener into adopting the freewheeling get up and go attitude that the group have found so much strength in.

From grunge pop to stadium rock, ‘Wednesday Night Melody’ presents Bleached at the height of their capabilities. Anthemic stomp along percussion drives the trio’s sound to its most arena ready, whilst guitar refrains squall at their boldest and most all encompassing. “It’s good to feel just a little alive,” the vocals echo, a reaffirming sentiment that resounds through most the record.

Incorporating zippy synth melodies, ‘I’m All Over The Place (Mystic Mama)’ sees the three-piece venture down a road of self-confrontational nostalgia, whilst ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ maintains an unrivalled drive into the future. The songs might have been forged out of heartbreak, but ‘Welcome The Worms’ showcases Bleached at their strongest and most realised. Jessica Goodman