Douglas Martin is thinking of you…and you…and you….but not you.
A band’s breakup is a natural occurrence, even as commonplace as a band’s formation, but there was a particular feeling of sadness among fans of Mika Miko when the band decided to part ways. The beloved LA five-piece packed a whole lot of energy into their sometimes-skronky, sometimes-punchy brand of vibrant proto-punk, including saxophones, a red telephone that served as a mic, and an absolutely infectious cover of the Urinals’ “Sex.” While holding an ice cream cone, I once almost got pushed into Spencer Moody of the Murder City Devils and his wife in the mosh pit of a Mika Miko set. Thus, I consider their breakup a deep personal loss.
After the Mika Miko breakup in late-2009, sisters Jessica (bassist for the group) and Jennifer (the band’s telephonist– er, singer) started recording songs as Bleached, but then the latter joined Cold Cave and moved to New York for a spell. Upon her return to Los Angeles, she reconvened with her sister to focus on Bleached, putting out their first single in early 2011 on Ooga Booga, and gearing up for the release of the Carter seven-inch via Art Fag.
“Think of You,” the single’s A-side, carries a vintage punk vibe reminiscent of the Ramones, right down to the way the words are sung. In the same vein as Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee (and Tommy, and Marky, and Richie, and Elvis, and CJ), the Clavin sisters have a penchant for stripping pop music down to its barest essentials and ratcheting up the volume. All of the hallmarks of classic songwriting are there, on a structural level (throwing in middle-eights and bridges along with standard verses and choruses) in addition to the simple but infectious melodies, a killer bassline, and lovelorn lyrics.
Underneath the bang and thrash of late-1970‘s bubblegum-punk, “Think of You” is about the apprehension that stops us from expressing our true feelings for someone, the mounting dread of possible rejection tightening our throats and knotting in our chests. So we stay mum and go about our business, trying not to let the slow surface cracks of our hearts make a sound as we quietly leaf through magazines or jot in our notebooks. And sometimes we make art about it and pretend it’s not inspired by something real. Romance is a pretty far cry from Mika Miko’s playful destruction and violent shouts for a turkey sandwich, but with “Think of You,” it seems that it’s a feeling that fits Beached very well. And probably way more appropriate for me to enjoying two scoops of Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake to.