REVIEW // Bleached — welcome the worms

From the fuzz fields of LA comes a welcomed reprieve. ***/5

The beach, as they say, is full. California has as much a homogenized sound these days as New York. With the help of labels like Burger Records, the fuzzed-filled stoner rock of the 60s and 70s is alive and well — almost too alive and well.

Bands like Bleached find themselves treading on familiar ground. Their previous album Ride Your Heart was evidence the trio desperately needed an identity all their own.

Welcome the Worms sets to work on just that with tracks like “Trying to Lose Myself Again,” a muscle-bound Chevy cutting through traffic as hulking trees scream past the windows. It’s one-part Ramones, two-parts Donnas — who themselves were all parts Ramones.

Album standout “Sleepwalker” pulsates as it escapes your speakers. It also voices how we’re not always keen on experience as we watch it unfold. In fact, it may take years off our lives.

“Sleepwalker” reminds us there’s an awakened sense of empowerment in moving forward.

“Wednesday Night Melody” is a howling riff on Joan Jett, with all the bravada and confidence one could hope to expect. However, the gas gauge ticks, and the album takes a marked slowdown there on out.

“Drag a needle on the groove today 
And waste away and waste away…

At times, it’s almost impossible not to love this album. Clawing your way tooth and nail out of the sea of quasi-low-fi peers is not always easy. But if anyone could do it, why the fuck not Bleached?