Clorox Girls: S/T 12"

Headcount Records


Clorox Girls high-energy debut album was released in 2004 to rave reviews including Thurston Moore and Byron Coley who wrote in Arthur Magazine, "The sound on their eponymous Kurt Bloch-produced debut LP is clean and has a basic goodness that is harder to ignore than a trouserfull of antlers." Clorox Girls were formed in 2003 in Oakland, CA, when guitarist and singer Justin Maurer met drummer Clay Silva while both were both living in a punk rock squat mostly populated by doom-struck crust punks. Tired of the gloomy and abrasive music they were hearing day and night, Justin and Clay decided to form a band that paid homage to their love of poppy old-school punk (they took their name from a tune on Redd Kross' first EP, when they were still known as Red Cross), first-generation rock & roll, and smart '60s pop from England and France. Justin's girlfriend Jennique was recruited to play bass, and Clorox Girls started playing Bay Area clubs. After spotting them on their first West Coast tour, Jonny Cat Records and 17 Television Records released the band's first single, a four-song vinyl 7". By the time the record hit stores, Jennique was out of the band, and was quickly replaced by Zack Lewis. Clorox Girls also pulled up stakes, making Portland, OR, their base of operations. After plenty of frantic touring throughout North America, SmartGuy Records released The Clorox Girls' self-titled 2004 debut album, produced by former Fastbacks leader Kurt Bloch; the album quickly sold out its first pressing, and a second press was gone by the time the band finished their next tour. After 3 albums, 12 singles, world tours, lineup changes, and a 7 year hiatus, Clorox Girls' classic first album lineup is back on tour with their out-of-print debut album being reissued for the first time in 12 years. This vinyl release includes the original track list and artwork. If there can be a quintessential early-aughts West Coast punk band, it is without a doubt Clorox Girls.

Our take: Unexpected reissue of the first Clorox Girls 12" from 2004. I guess this is unexpected because this record is probably at the nadir of its popularity in the 20-year pop culture cycle. It seems like stuff gets really, really uncool about 10 years after it comes out, then about 15 years later really hip people start rediscovering it, and then by the 20 year mark you can buy reproductions of it at the mall. Like I said, you're a long way away from people bootlegging Clorox Girls, Carbonas, and Briefs shirts and seeing a wave of reissues of those bands, but it doesn't mean that the records don't hold up, and god knows this one does. Like the Carbonas' legendary second album, this first Clorox Girls album sits right at that perfect intersection of hardcore, classic punk, and power-pop, real estate also occupied by a select few records like the Zero Boys' Vicious Circle, the first two Angry Samoans albums, and a select handful of others. At some point that pop culture cycle will come around and everyone you know will be starting bands that try to sound like this, so you might as well grab this reissue now before it's a $40 record, or whatever Donald Trump's second term has driven inflation to make $40 in 2024 dollars.
Tags: 00s garage melodic power-pop punk recommended reissues