Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

On Clorox Girls’ third full-length album, J’aime Les Filles, the boys (yes, boys, not girls) from Portland swiftly surf-rock through 14 tracks of good, ole garage punk. J’aime Les Filles isn’t ground breaking. It isn’t filled with crescendos that induce breath-taking gasps. It won’t knock you off your feet or inspire you to paint abstract art.

What will do is rock you.

Clorox Girls will get you movin’ and put you in a good mood. This album is good ole-fashion rock and roll. Inspired by late ‘70s punk, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and Richie Vallens, file J’aime Les Filles in the “Barbecuin’ in the back yard on a sunny, summer day” section of your record collection.

Produced by Pat Kearns (The Nice Boys, Exploding Hearts), and helped out by The Revisions’ Douglas Burns and Holy Ghost Revival’s Conor St. Kiley, Clorox Girls construct the kind of pop-punk that makes you want to grab a surf board and head immediately to Southern California. Preferably in a time machine back to 1963.

Other than the track “Le Banana Split” (which is sung all in French), frontman Justin Maurer sings about what pop-punk bands know best — girls. Whether it’s getting the girl, losing the girl, keeping the girl, or wanting to get rid of the girl, Maurer clearly wants what he doesn’t have. On “I’m Looking at You,” Maurer simply states, “You better tell that creep to beat it, ‘cause you’re always on my mind.” And later asks (on a track with only 26 words), “Do you know I love you?” as Daniel Sayer (bass) and Richie Cardenas (drums) add crashing, surf-rock waves to the tune. And “Flowers of Evil” says it all when Maurer slurs the lyrics, “Come on girl, don’t make me cry/I’m more than the boy next door, but you don’t want to see me no more.” This radio-ready, poppy little track will have you tapping your toe and singing along with the line, “Hot love in the city.” Not to play favorites, Maurer also sings about boys (maybe?). On “Boys Girls” an ex-girlfriend makes accusations (“Do you like boys/Do you like girls?"). The next track “Dreaming of St. Kiley” puts an extra question mark on the previous question, possibly referring to Conor St. Kiley.

Gossip aside, Clorox Girls J’aime Les Filles is the kind of Northwest pop-punk needed for these upcoming summer months.