There’s a really specific manifesto behind Bleached’s new EP: Can You Deal? with women making music. Throughout the California quartet’s most recent EP we hear four anthems that explore this idea, taking down the notion that music by men needs to be normalized by force.
Can You Deal? is at first listen bubblegum punk surf rock. The EP features some crashing drums, snappy and loud power chord driven guitar and unmistakable vocals by sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin. On entering the title track and first song on the EP, we’re quickly met with an updated version of what made earlier Bleached releases so good. It asks you to bop your head along and start mosh pit. It’s an incredibly bright and tight track, the kind of song that merits showing off a big smile while telling someone to go take a hike. The song is an ideal entry point into that desire to tell listeners not to put the band in a box anymore, that Bleached is a rock band—not a female fronted band. “Turned To Rage,” the EP’s third song is its most direct. It’s a song that is feverishly angry: Call me what you like/I’m not trying to make it right. The guitar part on this track is thrashing and fast. Things slow down about a minute into the track, transforming “Turned To Rage” into a gritty shout along you could almost picture hearing at a big venue.
This grittiness is present on every track on Can You Deal?, making it a record all about being brutally honest and focused on setting things straight. Bleached may be more comfortable in its identity as a band and its sound but “Can You Deal” stands as evidence that the band has more to say. And you’d better listen.
Can You Deal? is out now on Dead Oceans along with an accompanying zine, which features essays and art from people like Allison Wolfe, Tegan Quinn and Hayley Williams.