Sonos Studio, a brand new art-music-gallery in the heart of La Brea Art and Design District, was making its debut this week, and I got to see Bleached performed there on Saturday night. The space is described as ‘a sonically-tuned venue with custom-built seven-degree canted gallery walls, strategically placed pyramidal sound-dispersing foam tiles, and a purposefully built listening room – all designed to build the best place to listen to music’, I couldn't have come up with all this myself, but I must say that the band sounded great in this open white place,… last week Jimmy Cliff performed there, and I always like the idea of marrying music with visual art.
I saw Bleached once, it was past midnight and the two sisters had managed to pump up the crowd of the Echo with their sunny tunes. This time, there was a third girl on bass, and still the only boy of the band on drums, but the same energy did animate their too-short set.
Ex Mika Miko Jennifer and Jessica Clavin sang their girl-harmonies over their garage-punk-surfy songs, which made the crowd very happy. There is this old-fashioned punk style sound in Bleached music, that can remind bands like the Ramones, except that they are girls and they will never let you forgot it with all these girl-group vocal harmonies at each guitar riff. Their happy-tuned songs were at the same time bouncy-poppy, and retro-punk with an unpolished garage sound and a raw energy on the edges.
The music released that special California-beach sound, in the wild ‘Electric Chair’, or in ‘Think of You’, or a retro youth-celebration freshness in ‘You Take Time’ a little bit like the Dum Dum Girls do it, but with a far more carefree attitude, a wilder side and sloppier vocal harmonies. They weren’t neglecting anything of their girlie side nevertheless, as they couldn’t have dressed up more sexy with mini dresses, shorts, black hole tights and long blond/auburn hair they were banging at every occasion, effortlessly mixing a punk attitude with femininity.
I only knew well one of their songs, ‘Think of You’, but all their tunes were based on that same magic formula of multi-vocal harmonies, sunny hooks and a certain innocence not so common in music.