Exposé Online banner

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

Lost Cover artI'm Dead Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): The Basements

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ricochet - Zarah - A Teartown Story – Gradually over the last few years, with the help of Progrock Records distribution, Ricochet is gaining word-of-mouth momentum on the prog metal scene. From the outset the Hamburg band has all the...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues