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

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Radio Massacre International - Rain Falls in Grey – Head pixie Daevid Allen’s cover art, featuring a colorful half-toned rendition of Syd Barrett, provides the first clue as to what lies within this jewel case. Call it retro-psych, post-modern psych,...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues