BLEACHED + THE REGRETTES + THE SIDE EYES + UPSET @ THE ECHOPLEX
Photos by Eduardo Luis Words by Madison Desler
“Yeah I’m a girl and I play in a band/Can you deal? I listen to Sabbath with all of my friends/Yeah it’s real,” sings Jennifer Clavin of Bleached in “Can You Deal.” It’s the title track of their new, four-song EP and a zine of the same name which features contributions from musicians Hayley Williams (Paramore), Bethany Cosentino (Best Coast), Lizzo, Liz Phair, Cassie Ramone, and more, railing against being put in a box as a “female” musician—fielding interview questions about being a girl instead of questions about the album they just put their guts into, being talked down to by A&R guys or pompous sound engineers, or even being constantly referred to as “female-fronted” or a “girl band.”
It’s a valiant effort, one worthy of the Can You Deal? Riot that Bleached headlined last night at The Echoplex. It was four-band bill, heavy on the shreddage, with The Side Eyes and Upset taking the stage before The Regrettes, an LA punk four-piece that’s gotten big buzz, with the big talent and tight musicianship to back it up. They fired off tracks from their debut LP Feel Your Feelings Fool!, including the scathing “I Don’t Like You,” the hardcore thrash of “Whatta Bitch” the doo-wop tinged “A Living Human Girl” and “Seashore,” which singer Lydia Night introduced saying, “It’s about all the people that have been assholes to us because we’re young, or because I’m a girl. Everyone’s sexist, not just dudes!”
As the clock hit 11:00, Bleached took the stage, tossing red flowers out to crowd. They threw it back to last year’s Welcome The Worms with “Trying To Lose Myself Again,” before throwing it all the way back to 2011 with old-favorite, “Dazed.” Clavin, her sister Jessi, bassist Micayla Grace and drummer Nick Pillot are a tight unit. Veterans of the scene with experience that shows. Songs like “Sleepwalking” and “Turn To Rage” are way sludgier in person, heavy, and perfect for crowd-surfing—which is exactly what Grace did during “Dead In Your Head.” “I was really scared of losing my voice, and I can feel it happening,” Clavin explained, even though there was no evidence of that, her voice coming through clear as a bell from her flower-adorned mic—even as she head-banged.
After a 13-song set, the crowd wanted more, cheering the band back to the stage for an encore. “Jessie’s pedalboard went out, so she’s doing it without the pedals. Pretty tight!” Clavin explained. The equipment malfunction didn’t stop them from absolutely ripping the badass “Looking For A Fight,” nor did anyone’s pre-conceived notions of what a “girl band” looks, acts, or shreds like.