EP Review – Dreaming of the Desert by Buddhist Bubblegum (2022) (Cavern Brew Records)
The wonderfully monikered, Buddhist Bubblegum, is the project of Wiktor Szotowski, a Polish emigrant now based in Ljubljana, who seems to have mastered the art of a melodic fuzz sound that is gradually assuming a rennaisance in today’s more underground/indie musical movements.
As such the superlative opener, Paper Ridges, courses various levels of modern fuzz through intermittent 80s electric riffs and a general pop-rock thematic, that simply oozes with melodic intent.
Dropkick / Teenage Fanclub style power-pop is visited in the following, Summertime track. The fuzz now merely flirts with the sound rather than dominates it, as lucid jangled riffs become the primary emphasis, cushioning vocals that feel made for the power-pop 90s. This power-pop emphasis is accentuated even further in Stationary Weathervane, as an 80s style incessant tempos are proffered via a subtle wall of guitars, that still manage to enable the omnipresent melodies to sidle through.
As is often the case, the true standout of the release is the outlier. Here Merry-Go-Round foregoes all fuzz and sparkles with a more studio production emphasis, to offer a genuine jangle-pop sound, that resonates somewhere between the lucid of The Byrds and the slight folk-laden feel of the current San Francisco jangle scene offered by acts like The Telephone Numbersand The Umbrellas. Simply beautiful.
With the Bandcamp follow button firmly pressed, I cannot wait for more releases from this brilliant act.