The new Bleached EP is, as expected, full of punchy post-punk but its arrival is significant due to the accompanying zine being released with the record. The EP, called Can You Deal?, will be out on Friday via Dead Oceans, while the zine can be ordered here. It features contributions from Jane Wiedlin, Kate Nash, Hinds, Liz Phair, and the members of Bleached, among many others. And all net profits from the zine will go to Planned Parenthood which is awesome but I'm here today to discuss the equally-awesome EP.
The title cut recalls Sleater-Kinney, buzzsaw-riffs and big melodies, while "Flipside" is more obviously melodic and catchy. The rough edges here are softened by the tune's expert pop-sense. Elsewhere, on the excellent "Turn to Rage", Bleached have refined the formula that worked so well on last year's Welcome To The Worms. For all the fury on this one, there's still a geniune knack for crafting indie-pop at work here so the overall effect is one that remains simultaneously accessible to a few different audiences. The EP's final cut, the Muffs-recalling "Dear Trouble" is a blast of energy, the sort of thing one wants to crank up when tooling down the highway with the top down in a convertible. It is, like the other 3 cuts here, excellently realized.
The only negative thing I could say about Can You Deal? is that it's far too short. Still, Jennifer Calvin has been busy with other endeavors and the addition of the zine to this release is welcomed too. As I anxiously await the next Bleached album proper, I'm going to be rocking out with this one.
[Photo: Nicole Anne Robbins]