Thanks to the inexplicable popularity of my Submit Music page, I always have a slate of albums, EPs, singles and videos stacked up like virtual cordwood, awaiting my perusal. Here are some of the latest submissions that you might find interesting. They cover the musical waterfront from post-punk and psychedelic rock to classical synth covers and more, so at least one of them oughta float your boat. And if it does, I’ve included Bandcamp links wherever possible so you can buy the music straight from the source. Tell ’em I sent ya. And if you’ve got something I need to hear, send it my way. If I think you’re half as good as you think you are, I just might include you next time.
Base Portrait EP
MY TWO CENTS: I’m not sure if these guys are intentionally trying to create an air of mystery or just being lazy sods. Either way, I can’t tell you much about this Vancouver quartet — they don’t appear to have a website or any social media presence, and their Bandcamp page has little info beyond their names. But I can tell you this: Their six-track debut EP Base Portrait is a short, sharp and satisfyingly cathartic collection of cuts that hit the bittersweet spot between post-punk and post-hardcore, complete with all the requisite elements. Such as: Wiry guitars that clang and slash and sear. Punchy rhythms that lurch and bounce. Nimble basslines that rumble and ping. Urgent vocals that boom and bark and yowl and yelp. And high-IQ, darkly poetic lyrics about urban lives of quiet desperation. If that doesn’t tell you what you need to know about these guys, take it up with them.
THE BIO: “Formed in 2015, the Athens-based quartet The BuzzDealers serve a sonic blend of blues-rooted garage rock ‘n’ roll fused with vibrant riffs and raw, cathartic energy. True to their hometown maxim Get in, Groove on, Fuzz out, they come out as a ferocious spirit, untamed in nature that rings heavy and loud. With references in music of past eras, The BuzzDealers carefully accommodate their signature sound with uncompromising wording and emotional outbursts while stepping in a lucid swirl. After extensive gigging in iconic venues all over Greece, and having shared the stage with power rockers such as Hanni El Khatib and well known Greek bands such as Puta Volcano, Godsleep, Big Nose Attack, etc., The BuzzDealers teamed up with renowned producer Alex Bolpasis to record their debut album Blooming.”
MY TWO CENTS: It might be a small world after all. But sometimes it feels more like one big global garage. At least once a month, I get a kick-ass rock ’n’ roll album from some unexpected corner of the world — India, Vietnam, Portugal, you name it. This time, the gift comes from Greek quartet The BuzzDealers, whose debut full-length Blooming mixes and matches garage-rock, blues-rock, psychedelic-rock and stoner-rock as potently as any bunch of Mojave desert rats. In fact, the only way to spot the difference might be their lost-in-translation lyrics, which deliver deep thoughts like: “I need a song to reshout it / Break my amp / I need a world for the rebel piece of mind / Don’t need a wall of protection bounds / Give me your call / I’ll let my soul to rehab and blame mankind.” So if you’re hoping to glean deep messages or universal truths from their lyrics, you’re barking up the wrong tree. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a band to help you get in, groove on, and fuzz out, you’ve come to the right place. Crank it up and let ’er rip.
Bach, Human Arpeggiator
THE BIO: “Sam Miller is a man of unique talents. A rare musical soul who thrives in our modern day of synthesizers and microchips, but who would be equally content playing Bach fugues in a cathedral filled with orangutans. His musical output is driven by curiosity and exploration, noticeably lacking the self-aggrandizing spirit of so much pop music. He has released two full-length studio albums, In One Place at a Time (2019) and You Need To Hear It (2014). Bach, Human Arpeggiator is recorded entirely on a Moog synthesizer (kind of a nod to Switched-on-Bach but with lots of different pieces). Most of the album is pretty chill but some of the tracks are basically synth metal.”
MY TWO CENTS: Recording a solo album of Bach compositions is no small feat on its own. But the prolific Miller goes the extra mile by doing it on a monophonic synth, meaning every different voice, counter-melody and harmony had to be recorded separately. Clearly he’s a man with some time to spare. And since that’s something we all have in common, this strange (and strangely soothing) slate might be for you.
All Your Mirror Gods
THE BIO: “Slingshot Miracle is Stunt Rock from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Since its 2012 debut, Slingshot Miracle has released eight albums, receiving repeated airplay on Canadian college FM stations and on internet radio streams across North America and Europe. Think The Replacements with Malcolm & Angus Young on fuzz banjo, Cousin Neil on bullhorn and tap shoe, and Uncle Carl Gustav on acoustic theremin. Influenced by punk, classic rock, and country, Slingshot Miracle aims to leave you Sabbath Black and Rodeo Blue. Ego, addiction, secret societies, climate, murder, selective amnesia, conspiracies, sensationalism, not-so-OK boomers, meditation, male/female dynamics, outrage, paranoia — these are Slingshot Miracle’s latest obsessions. Turn it up and dance — they may be your mirror gods too.”
MY TWO CENTS: You know the Infinite Monkey Theorem? Sure you do. It’s the notion that enough chimps banging on enough keyboards will eventually knock out some Shakespeare. Well, I also have a theorem. It’s called the Infinite Basement-Band Theorem. It’s basically the same idea, with weekend-warrior musicians instead of simians, and cool albums instead of iambic pentameter. And the enigmatic Calgary outfit Slingshot Miracle is definitely the 800-pound gorilla of the day. I’ve never heard of them (or him; I get the sense this is a one-man-band affair). I bet they’re news to you too. But at least half the tracks on this idiosyncratic, retro-minded album — which has echoes of everything and everyone from T.Rex and ’50s rock to ’80s new wave and Paul Westerberg — are interesting and impressive enough that you want to hear them. And then hear them again. Nobody’s monkeying around here.
THE BIO: “Homes is a 21-year-old singer, songwriter and producer from a small town called Kežmarok in Slovakia. Although Lufu is his debut solo album, he is no newbie to the music world — in fact he has quite a career under his belt already. Outside of his solo work, he has produced and collaborated with some of the biggest artists in contemporary Slovak and Czech music, releasing songs which went on to amass millions of streams online, were placed on albums selling tens of thousands of copies and led to Homes being invited to perform as guest on tours visiting the biggest venues in Slovakia and Czechia, including the sold out O2 Arena in Prague in 2019. Recorded in his home studio over the summers of 2019 and 2020, his debut album contains 8 songs written, produced and engineered by Homes. While the album contains no featuring artists, he had a number of people helping him — instruments such as violins, trumpets, saxophones or piano can be heard throughout the album, all recorded live by Homes’ friends. A very melancholic atmosphere is persistent, giving it an dreamy and emotional feel, although there are moments that are sonically powerful and poignant as well. The word Lufu itself being an old term for “love”, the main lyrical theme of the album is love as a general concept of kindness, tolerance, solidarity, open-mindedness, unity and a call for humanity. Other recurring themes include the struggle to find oneself, a meaning of life; or finding hope in despair. Just like Homes’ name suggests, his main effort is to provide a home for the listener, to give them comfort and solace.”
MY TWO CENTS: A little more love in the world is always a good thing. And Homes certainly delivers the tender goods on this lush, laid-back and lovely affair — between his slowly flowing melodies and the falsetto vocals that gently glide over top like clouds, these eight songs should lower your blood pressure that at least 20%.
THE BIO: “Born in the USSR, this Canadian songwriter and performer seamlessly crosses the genres of Folk Rock, Rockabilly, Soul and Blues to breed a sound familiar, yet all his own: addicting progressions and a melodically satisfying vocals. Paul Cafcae’s musical journey began at the age of 6 when his parents enrolled him into music school for accordion in the Soviet Union. Attending classes 4 days a week, the future songwriter was taught music theory, harmony, solfeggio, rhythm and music literature, with regular instrumental classes in accordion, piano, as well as vocals. At 15 he began focusing on guitar more than he had before. Quickly making it his instrument of choice, Cafcae went on to write original material, and ended up performing in several bands in Eastern Europe and Canada. Living in Canada since 2009, Paul continues to write songs that blend a number of like-minded genres: rockabilly, blues, and soul; the aesthetics of his songs bearing a vintage, old tape quality. Miss July is a perfect example of his storytelling songwriting style.”
MY TWO CENTS: How do you know someone’s a really good guitarist? He’ll tell you! Yeah, it’s an old joke. But it’s not wrong — way too many pickers are all sizzle and no steak. Thankfully, Paul Cafcae is an exception. The personable Toronto singer-songwriter and fretmaster flips the script on his sophomore album Miss July, displaying tasteful understatement and restraint on a nostalgic collection that runs the gamut from zippy rockabilly and twangy tangos to Beatle-pop, blues and folk. No joke.