Let it go...no really. Does it matter that the Clorox Girls are boys? No. What matters is the music they make and the impression they leave after the final cymbal crash. Thurston Moore and Byron Coley nailed it with their quip that the Clorox Girls “are harder to ignore than a trouser full of antlers.” Too right...
What you have in the Clorox Girls is a band that plays late 70s style punk, from a time when punk was influenced by the likes of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Ritchie Valens, Little Richard, Elvis, and Howlin Wolf. Couple this with early 80’s Los Angeles, you know, the Gears, Germs, Red Cross, (Ron Reyes) Black Flag, Dickies, and you have an idea of where these Girls are coming from.
The bands’ origins can be traced to 2003 Oakland, CA when Justin and Clay met up at a show where both of their (former) bands were performing. Since they hit it off straight-away what else could be done but move in together and form a band. As Justin puts it “We were living in this dingy warehouse full of crust punks and wanted to start a band that was real poppy, kind of like the first Red Cross EP, the polar opposite of the hopeless dark crust that they were always playing.” They recruited Justin’s girlfriend Jennique on bass and began to play frequently around the Bay area before employing a “blitzkrieg tour strategy” that took them throughout the West Coast. This brought them to the attention of Jonny Cat Records who, released their 4-song 7” debut to great acclaim. Not wanting to rest on their laurels, the band embarked on its first US/Canadian tour in the fall of 2003 but not before saying goodbye to Jennique and hello to Morgan who in turn left and made way for Zack. It was on this tour that SmartGuy Records crossed paths with the band at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. After a few trips to various local taquerias, a partnership was formed. Next stop, Conrad Uno’s Egg Studios in Seattle with Kurt Bloch (Fastbacks) twiddling about with the knobs for two days to come up with the “killer” 12-song debut that was released in early 2004. New record, same result. Rave reviews abound. The initial pressing of 400 LPs sold out in two weeks so what was left to do…? Press up 350 more and tour the states in July and August. The high note of this trip was a live WFMU radio session at which they shared the air with Belgian punk legends The Kids. Not bad for three girls from Portland! The lads closed out the year with some West Coast dates and a bit of recording.
2005: New Year, new bass player. Enter Colin Grigson, just in time for the second trip to Egg Studios with Kurt Bloch again at the helm. Cut after cut of hard-edged pop, this LP picks up where the debut left off and once again demonstrates that, along with brevity, the Clorox Girls know the value of the solid songwriting. On the 12 tracks that comprise This Dimension, the Clorox Girls have honed their pop edge without losing the sound that harkens back to that peculiar lost-in-time-garage-psych-no-man’s land that birthed Redd Cross and the Angry Samoans. It is also clear that the Clorox Girls have arrived at a sound of their own.
Reviews of the Debut.