Hailing from Athens, but sounding as if they stepped out of mid-70s America, The BuzzDealers share their vision of rock on their first LP, Blooming. The dual-guitar led quartet avoids common debut pitfalls in that they keep the tracklist lean and stick to making music they love. Riff-based rhythms, fleshed out in colorful analog, are the cornerstones around which the band sings its unique prose, all in English. Non-native turns of phrase and liberties taken with the language create some memorable verses and expressions that reveal themselves through subsequent listenings.
Wearing their heart on their sleeve, The BuzzDealers ride in on a building-echo of guitar distortion that leads directly into the fuzzed-out main riff. “I need a song to reshout it, break my amp,” shouts Zannis Psilopoulos on “Like an Old Song,” before making way for an early guitar solo. Direct in their delivery, and wasting little time, the band lays out the song, turns up the energy and distortion, and moves on to the next tune. As a result of this method, the tracks are all good. There is no filler. Brooding and confident, “Electrocution” focuses around a creeping, chunky guitar line and Thanasis “Buddha” Georgakis’s double duty on bongos in addition to his standard kit. It’s one of the standouts on the album and it could feasibly be slipped into a Black Sabbath record undetected, if not for the distinctive musical personalities of the band members.
“Sweaty Moves” takes its cue from Georgakis by quickening the tempo which leads to some sharp guitar interplay. One tone thickly fuzzed, the other awash in choral gloss, they nicely fill out the sonic spectrum on this song as they do throughout the set. Psilopoulos finishes the tune with a perfect example of the poetically oblique verses found throughout Blooming:
A feat of commoners
Filled up with happiness
Think up in your way
“Sling” incorporates a taste of funk, and along with the slower and softer mood ofz “So Divine,” displays a couple different components of the band’s rock amalgam. Power chorus loving listeners will gravitate towards the refrain on “Who’s Gonna Save My Roll.” The BuzzDealers smartly reuse the structure of the chorus as a foundation for lyrics, vocalizations, and solos, all in their respective time. Fans of psych-prog rock won’t be disappointed with either “Hypersonic Jaunt,” or “Sex Me.” Mixed in a way to maximize the aural space, the song-ending, unison harmony between vocals and guitar is a highwater mark along with the lyrics. Words like “vernality” and “inanity” are not usually used by native speaking American songsmiths.
For an album dependent on deep guitar grooves, the choice to end with the mellowest number of the set manages to work perfectly and extends the band’s range. “Pretty Maze” slips in a trumpet that rises to the front, ping-ponging in stereo against yet another different version of Psilopoulos’s voice.
None of this is possible without the tandem guitar attack of Alex Argyros and Tolis Kyteas. Throughout the album, their catchy riffs—some thumping, others speedy, a few funky—serve as the genesis of the pieces and propel them forward. But The BuzzDealers work because there is an inherent balance between the members’ contributions. Blooming is full of quality songs, vividly composed musically and lyrically. The album is energetic, it’s believable, and most importantly, it’s fun.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Like an Old Song
– Sex Me
– Pretty Maze
The Big Hit
– Sex Me
Review by Willie Witten