Putting down the bottle never sounded so good. ‘Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough’, the third record from Californian sisters Jennifer and Jessie Clavin, sees the duo scale up their ambition hand-in-hand with a scaling down of their drinking. Strictly sober during the recording sessions for the first time, it is as if a fog has lifted. The importance of letting go of the past, while still learning from and owning their mistakes, runs through this release. With a sense of a group that have truly come to terms with themselves and have found self-acceptance, it is a huge leap forward in both style and substance.
No longer tethered to their distinctive scuzzy garage rock sound, Bleached appear here like a band reborn and are all the better for it. Opener ‘Heartbeat Away’ may continue their winning mix of beefy power pop chords and lush harmonies, but this is a record that doesn’t sit still for long. ‘Hard To Kill’, complete with catchy whistle refrain, and ‘Kiss You Goodbye’ slink in on grooves straight out of Blondie’s playbook. Loose-hipped and untethered, ‘I Get What I Need’ is another high point that proves that the Clavins’ instincts to experiment with genre more this time around was the right call.
The hit rate on the record’s second half is phenomenal. ‘Valley To LA’, a reflection on the band’s early days and the journey made, is three and a half minutes of pure, uninhibited joy. Equally, ’Awkward Phase’ is anything but - the ridiculously catchy chorus soaring over a pulsating guitar solo. By the time the lo-fi finale ‘Shitty Ballet’ explodes into a cacophony of noise and mayhem, the band have moved so far from their beginnings that it’s hard to fathom. One thing is for sure; nobody will be telling Bleached that they’ve had enough after this. More, please.