Punk has seen a large variety of derivations and off-shoots ever since the British Invasion and Iggy Pop shifted the sound toward the forefront of the popular music zeitgeist. Ever since its inaugural iconoclasts, there has to be something like forty some odd different punk-adjacent subgenres that only diverge in the slightest of fashions, but despite such vague differences, these subgenres coexist and ultimately thrive. Take fuzz rock, for example – it certainly services aspects of punk music, but also honors tenants of 60s California beach rock vibes, converging upon punk rock sensibilities with a slightly less abrasive tone. In all honesty, the diversity of punk off shoots, and subsequent post-punk scenes make post-punk one of the lushest fields of music to dive into and explore, with many a solid band appearing out of every conceivable locale.
So with that in mind, the most recent post-punk group to roll through Nashville was none other than Los Angeles’ own Bleached – a proto-punk power pop (say that five times fast) band with fuzzy guitar and lyrical fury. Touring as support for Beach Slang on their “Bleached Slang” tour, Bleached filled out the Mercy Lounge for their somewhat early support set for the aforementioned Beach Slang. They came out with a punk heavy vibe on “Searching Through the Past” as fronter Jennifer Clavin and her bandmates Jessica Clavin and Micayla Grace thrashed about throughout the track, but never once losing their ultra-tight cohesion, maintained primarily by drummer Nick Pillot’s super pocket rhythm.
Clavin and her cohorts tore through a raucous version of “Dazed” with some tasteful shredding from Jessica as Nick and Micayla held it down, which Jennifer closed with a brief “thank you” and no time to be wasted on banter. For the next couple tracks, Jennifer spent some time away from her guitar, as she cavorted and wheeled about on stage during “Sleepwalking,” thrashing every which way in between verses, which slowly but surely awoke the decreasingly reticent Mercy Lounge crowd. The set began to feel reminiscent of an early Stooges or L7 live show, as Jennifer made appeals to the crowd with nothing more than a sweeping twirl one way or another, with much of the crowd following suit as a number of short lived mosh pits began to crop up here and there.
Bleached’s live set is compact and succinct, as the void of banter never once served as a detriment, but rather an extreme benefit with Jennifer’s variations on Iggy Pop, Marie Fredricksson, Kathleen Hanna, or Joe Strummer at different points in the set. Compound Jennifer’s fronting prowess with the absolute pocket performances from Micayla, Jessica, and Nick, and Bleached have themselves one of the finest live groups to come out of the hyper-specific fuzz rock, post-punk, beach gaze bands on the touring circuit right now.