Montreal’s The Submissives are pretty cut-and-dry. “Do You Really Love Me?”, the title song of their new album is as much ultimatum as it is ultra-loose, lo-fi pop. On record, The Submissives is all producer Deb Edison. She records her “warped lovesick pop tunes” on a 4-track tape deck, which accounts for the music’s loose, early rock n’ roll DIY aesthetic. Edison’s couldn’t-give-a-fuck vocals lay all her cards on the table early: “I’ve given you a chance and I’ll give you no more,” she sings/moans, “are you going to stay with me or are you walking out the door?”
Those of us who choose to stay with The Submissives beyond Do You Really Love Me?’s opening song are treated to further pearls of doo-wop wisdom and deconstructed pop. Live on stage, The Submissives expands to a six piece band, “made up of mostly non-musicians”. They don matching monochrome outfits, perform in front of hand-painted backdrops in basements and lofts around Montreal, and call their shows “ritualistic performances”. Of course they are; how else would you describe a band who slays satire, and saccharine 60s pop with one fell swoop?