The Basements — Lost
(Lost in Tyme LIT 33, 2016, LP)
The Basements — I'm Dead
(Bandcamp no#, 2012, DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-01-31
When I think of Greece, the last thing that comes to mind is 60s psychedelia. But with a steadily growing fan base is this five-person band from Thessaloniki, Greece The Basements. And what a great name! They have a genuine psychedelic garage punk sound much like Sky Saxon and The Seeds. Forming in 2009, the current lineup is John (lead vocals, harmonica, maracas, tambourine), Nick (guitar and vocals), Kostas (bass), Alex (Farfisa organ), and Dimitris (drums). They released their first EP, Heart of Stone, in 2010, I’m Dead in 2012, a split 7 inch with Sound Explosion in 2014, and their new album Lost this year. I’m Dead contains 12 lo-fi songs with a powerful rhythm section, strong bass lines, wild guitar, trippy Farfisa organ, and screaming vocals. This debut album has a tinny sound and the vocals are mostly unintelligible. However, the music rocks! And you immediately understand why they are considered one of the most dynamic bands on the Greek scene. Besides the obvious similarities to The Seeds and other 60s garage bands, I detect a bit of Jefferson Airplane’s “Bringing Me Down” on “She Put Me Down,” Bo Diddley on the closing song, “Go Away,” and some surf music on “Hands on Time” that could have also been on the soundtrack to a cheesy 60s Italian vampire movie. Nick has some inspired moments on guitar peppered throughout the disc and Alex’s crazed Farfisa makes everything worthwhile.
With their new album, Lost, The Basements have matured in the studio. The sound is cleaner and the vocals are now understandable. They still remain true to the garage punk roots, but this time channeling The Animals, The Kinks, and other 60s British psych-pop bands. While John dominated the vocal duties on I’m Dead, John and Nick share duties on Lost. Songs that stand out for me are “A Flash on Your Lies,” with a cool rhythm guitar and tremelo on the guitar break, the guitar-driven psychedelic rock of “Another Glance,” “One Way Soul” that conjures images of “All Day and All of the Night,” the title track that could be a spy movie track, and the bluesy “Around Around” with Nick’s frenetic and raw guitar solo. Overall, music worthy of attention from an unexpected location.
Related artist(s): The Basements
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more