REVIEW: BLEACH SWEETS - 11P MIXTAPE
You'll wanna Get Into This
Society Of Losers Records
Along with getting the chance to interview Bleach Sweets, I gained early access to their new release, 11p Mixtape, so it's been on constant play for about a week or so now. It's out today, and it's their first full length dropped through DIY label Society Of Losers, and it could truly be the label's best release since Lennie Dies' Big Dog Energy.
The mixtape is an amalgamation of the duo's music spanning from their inception right up to the pandemic. There's also inclusions from their 2019 EP Get Into This, and the mixtape start with a slight redux of 'Nice Guys', one of the highlights from their arsenal of blistering numbers. Straight off the bat, the sardonic commentary that they've honed over the years comes through in full force. The instrumental itself parallels the emotions and discrepancies of the song's protagonist, pleasantly plodding in the verses with a sense of entitlement before exploding into the chorus with enragement, and some erratic strumming akin to Fugazi's earlier work. Guitarist and vocalist Allan Myers uses screeching feedback to a fascinating effect, coming off as almost orchestral in practice. It's one example of how the two-piece doesn't allow their simple setup of guitar, drums and two vocals to throttle them with limitations, as the feedback feels like an instrument within itself. There's a similar feeling on another cut from the EP, the sensational 'Get Into This', and although this is the shortest tune at a blistering 45 seconds, it's all Bleach Sweets need to get their message across. Backed by a bargain bin Pac-Man style lead and punctuated by drummer and vocalist Tom Shand outing a real piece of shit, it's truly anti-aesthetic punk. 'Isn't It Ironic' and 'Party' are lyrically my favourites on the mixtape, especially the latter. 'Party' simply documents the events of, well, a party, and it could be a stereotypical analysis, but it's freshened up through the eyes of a dickhead, putting the listener in a rare position of that snarky twat who goes around the gaff criticising everyone from joint rolling ability to failed romantic moves. It's gorgeous.
However, Shand and Myers don't confine themselves to short and snotty ditties. 'Best Friends', the third and final cut from the EP, is quite the catchy tune, reminiscent of the scrappy yet infectious craft that Jack White instilled into the vital early White Stripes records, still abrasive but with a melodic touch that elevates the tune and makes it a standout amongst the collection on offer. The same can be said about the following track 'Still Trying', highlighted by an array of intriguing guitar parts and vocally delivered like Cake if they were from Yorkshire. The Stripes vibes make a reappearance on 'The Kid Is Not My Son Of A Preacher Man', a bluesy killer track that stampedes around the last third of the mixtape. Alongside it is the baffling but brilliant 'Shut Up Mum' and 'Deviate', a surprisingly sombre closer that builds into a thumping emotion monster, quite the apt ending to the mixtape.
Overall, this is a shitmix of the best kind, a mutant Long Island Iced Tea-style concoction that could kill you within a few sips, but is so tantalising to the senses that you can't help but down it. It's not going to be for everyone, but that's okay. Bleach Sweets didn't make this for anyone, so fuck off.
FFO: Shellac, The White Stripes, Fugazi