As Welcome The Worms come thundering out of the gate under the power of the crunching 'Keep On Keepin' On,' one cannot help but feel as though Bleached as made a quantum leap since their 2013 debut, Ride Your Heart. But as the record carries listeners onward, it becomes clear that Bleached's alluring blast of youthful sunshine that made their first album such a delight has been supplanted by a desire to emulate the stilted, uninteresting type of guitar pop melodies that Rivers Cuomo and Weezer have enjoyed making in the 21st century.

In an attempt to shun the city life that fueled their debut, Jennifer and Jessica Clavin took to a remote house in Joshua Tree, Calif., where they recorded tracks with the help of Micayla Grace on bass and Marc Jordan on drums. With the help of Grammy Award-winning producer Joe Chiccarelli, the group seems to have worked from a pop-punk blueprint to create their melodies.

On several occasions, Welcome The Worms really does rip. 'Sleepwalking' features a chugging shotgun guitar riff laid over a powerful anthemic chorus, as Jennifer shouts "my eyes are opened wide!" Similarly, 'Sour Candy,' despite its cheesy bong rip intro, features a soaring new wave-infused sound that propels the album to its absolute peak. These songs are proof of Bleached's ability to write exceptional pop-punk without ever crossing that delicate line into cringe-worthy nonsense.

And to its credit, Welcome The Worms never does really cross that line. Bleached has too many skilled musicians and studio masters behind it for that to happen. But aside from a few interspersed highlights, the album does not do much to stand apart from much of the lackluster fuzzy guitar pop that sullied the mid-2000s. Listeners will likely feel as though they've heard much of this stuff before and, while not of it is bad, that sensation does not exactly make for a compelling listen.

Still, Bleached clearly have a knack for writing a hook and that cannot be denied. One just hopes that a future third LP will find a perfect fusion between Ride Your Heart's carefree aplomb and Welcome The Worms' improved production and higher highs. For now, however, Bleached remains the kind of band that you pick a few songs from for a summertime playlist but otherwise are left hoping for more.