L.A.’s Bleached is a band born of the Misfits, and that’s how it ended a too-short set last night at the Hi-Dive — with a cover of “Horror Business.” After a set that carried a strong feel of NYC Bowery punk, the Runaways, and just a little Vivian Girls, the cover was a nice fit and capped off the night well. Sisters Jennifer and Jessie Clavin both tore apart their guitars through 30 minutes of songs that Buddy Holly would be proud of — and might have written himself if he’d been around an early ‘80s contemporary of Darby Crash.
For that short 30 minutes, it was sort of refreshing to experience a breath of nostalgia from early NYC punk, and the Clavin sisters seemed to know it. They weren’t sloppy or purposely snarly like New York Dolls, but you could feel their influence in most songs. It was really in their spirit, more than the music, and it was kind of brilliant.
School Knights played an even shorter set before Bleached, but packed in more than enough beach-punk to make it worth the while of the 30-or-so that showed up early enough to catch them. This four-piece from Boulder is definitely on the right track, with a sound that recalls Surfer Blood or Wavves — only smarter. As often as the songs faded in and out of a signature over-over-reverbed and noisy mess, they’d fall easily back into a smooth, complex rhythm anchored by a few sweet riffs. They played garage like they were born to, or at least like they’ve been playing it since pre-school.
Tina Hagerling is a Denver photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. Check out more of her concert photography.