Finally, after 17 years, I can put my copy of 'Eight arms to hold you' by Veruca Salt to rest. This epitome of pop-rock-punk was never surpassed to my mind (although 'Jennie bomb' by Swedish quartet Sahara Hotnights came close). Ride your heart is slightly rougher on the edges, but the overall feel is so good, that there is no doubt that Veruca Salt has met its match. This conclusion also puts a lot of pressure on the sisters Clavin as Veruca Salt never came close again to 'Eight arms to hold you' again.
Ride your heart is this magical ride. Just the first struck chords put a smile on my face. This album has an alluring quality that won me over at the first listening and only became more fun each time I put it on again. Not that anything extraordinarily is going on, on the contrary. In part Bleached offers a party of recognition. A mix of pop and rock with sometimes girl trio 60s, sometimes 70s punky attitude. Even Bowie guitars of his Berlin era fly by. All this would be inconsequential, perhaps even annoying, were it not that the songs have two unique selling points: great melodies and the slightly slacker tone of singing of Jennifer Clavin. In several songs she's just singing in a registry just below what is expected. It gives Ride your heart the right amount 'I love rock and roll' kind of snottiness. And then there is the main trump card that overshadows all else: Bleached managed to capture an intense sense of urgency on tape (probably bytes). It is this combination that makes Ride your heart this good.
Lyrically there is a lot of love, lost and declarations of independence. Walking someone, a lover?, home, the guy gets a warning as the one walking along is "looking for a fight". At 2.10 this statement is all over. The only thing missing between 'Looking for a fight' and the brilliant single 'Next stop' is "one two three four!" and a sign reading "Gabba Gabba Hey". The distractions love brings are not welcome either: "Get out of my mind, boy". The foot is slightly of the pedal here, without lessening quality. A beautiful semi-ballad on love and despair and hope 'Outta my mind' is. Bleached has thought about the extra effects a lot. An extra guitar, harmony singing, a harmony in all the right places and a sparse keyboard moved up front in the mix. 'Outta my mind' has it all. From The Shangri-Las to Blondie and back.
Jennifer and Jessie Clavin both were in a band Mika Miko in the zeroes. It took the sisters over three years to come up with a new format. This format is Bleached. If this period was meant to be one of reflection and reinvention, it has succeeded with flying colours. I would give a lot for a refrain like the one in 'Dead in your head'. Bleached has managed to incorporate main influences from the period 1964 till 1977 and blended that into a 2013 mix that is irresistible. Ride your heart is another 2013 album that seeks the perfect pop song. Bleached seeks in the up tempo punk - (garage) pop range of songs, but nonetheless searching for it it does. Several times coming terribly close, without a single real dip.
More words are not necessary, really. Lovers of the sort of music described here should know enough. Summertime is here! Ride your heart with the top off is the advice of
You can order Ride your heart here