[PUNK POP] Clorox Girls has always been a sexually deceptive band. During the trio's first trip to Mexico City, frontman Justin Maurer attracted catcalls from many in the crowd who assumed from the band's name and Maurer's then-long, straight blond hair that he was a girl. He was almost crucified when the crowd realized its error.
And the Girls' 2004 sophomore LP, This Dimension, contains no shortage of innuendo in its 45-second songs with abrupt endings. But, armed with a new rhythm section—Daniel Sayer on bass and Richie Cardenas on drums—J'aime Les Filles (which drops locally this weekend and nationally on April 17) brings the band's hormonal foolery to a new level by pairing it with saccharine harmonies and a general sense of innocence.
The band's new poppier, sillier direction is largely apparent on "Stuck in a Hole," a song rerecorded from its self-titled debut. Lines like "Wanna shipwreck between her thighs" are sung softer and slower, almost like a punk lullaby. Similarly, "Looking at You" combines a pouty delivery and lyrics that could have come from a PSA on child abuse ("You let him touch you there") to describe a love triangle, and the title line in the chorus sounds like a sweet TV melody from the '60s.
But the most glorious and dirty moments on the album are its two covers. The pre-chorus of "Le Banana Split" has a Ritchie Valens-style vocal cadence that you can just picture kids sock-hopping to. At the end of the chorus, the whole band goes, "Mmm!" with nonstop, single-chord piano in the background. The song—sung in French and originally recorded in 1979 by Lio—sounds like a birthday party. In actuality, it's a euphemism for blow jobs.
"Flowers of Evil" is less subtle with its chorus of "Hot love in the city." The tune is based on a track of same name by Seattle's Holy Ghost Revival, and it makes for the most blatant juxtaposition of innocence and vice on the album. Though the Girls now sport more boyish 'dos, there is a deeper well than ever of sexual energy beneath their seeming candy innocence. Ladies, take a tip from those machistas and don't let the hair cuts—or Beach Boys harmonies—fool you.
J'aime Les Filles