Welcome The Worms

Dead Oceans

When I think of the summer of 2016, I imagine Pennywise the Clown peeking out from the gutter – with his bouquet of balloons and his razor sharp teeth – teasing us all with his salacious invitation to join him, “we all float down here…”

My thoughts of summer weren’t always as such. Vast blue skies and sunshine, the delicious sting of salt water on my lips, perfectly ripe fruit dripping down my wrist, and music cranked up from the car stereo on that joyous drive to the BEACH. Summer was, and should be (and will be once again, I hope), nature’s embodiment of carefree youth. Bleached’s Welcome The Worms brings me back to those idealistic days more effectively than Zoloft could ever promise to.

Sunny and embracive of pop in the unapologetic way of the The Go-Go’s, yet steeped in sex-driven riffs and just the right amount of cockiness à la The Runaways, Bleached have created the perfect summer album for a summer that doesn’t feel like Summer. Musically, it’s upbeat and breezy, yet lyrics like “I’ve been getting high/ every night/ Trying to lose myself again” ( from “Trying To Lose Myself Again”) or “And I don’t really understand/ why you can’t forget the past I have/ But it’s always the mistakes I made” (from “Keep on Keeping On”) hint at a turbulent sea beneath beneath the board. There’s regret, mingling with hope, and at the core of it all is “Wednesday Night Melody,” a song that perfectly embodies that moment when the sun is breaking through the clouds, but the storm hasn’t yet passed.

It’s hot, the water’s sparkling, and dammit you drove all the way to the beach and you’re determined to catch some waves, but those storm clouds are rolling in fast and the lifeguard’s waving you in. This record is that feeling, alone on the waves, weighing the likelihood of a lightning strike. Whether you kick out into the waves, or head to the shore, depends on your outlook on life. Bleached head for the horizon with a determined paddle, leaving the lifeguard’s warning whistle to fade in the wind.

Some may call that reckless, I call it Living.

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