Clorox Girls, J’aime Les Filles

Chuck Eddy

By Chuck Eddy

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

These Oregon Francophiles (three skinny boys, frequently in skinny ties) partake in a rock'n'roll bounce and uncynical silliness that punk has largely avoided since it went hardcore in the early ’80s. Major label “pop-punk” these days — wimpy and bullying at the same time — chews significantly less bubblegum. Instead, the trio connects to a proudly inauthentic pogo-twerp tradition: Think the Vibrators, 999, Panics, Red Cross (an early song by whom provided Clorox Girls'name), Pointed Sticks, FM Knives, the Exploding Hearts.

A trio of Oregonian Francophiles chew bubblegum at the altar of pop-punk.

J'Aime Les Filles crams 14 super-tuneful miniatures into just 27 minutes. The longest, an album-opening 3:05 feedback-unto-surf-guitar-unto-sweet-melody blitz called “Telephone,” seemingly swipes its title from a forgotten French punk troupe; later, Clorox Girls smack lips through “Le Banana Split,” reportedly a cover of a ’70s French pop hit by someone named Lio. “Boys Girls” is a gulping hiccup of gender confusion; “Eva Braun” is the catchiest new wave song about its subject since the Boomtown Rats in 1979; “Straight to My Heart” employs a handclapped glam beat that actually swings. Before you know it, the totally unexpected near-a cappella love ballad “Me Every Day” closes the set — just a hop, skip, jump and a few Plastic Bertrand-as-Beach Boys oooh-wee-ooh-wee-ooh's from where it started.