We haven’t heard much from the Greek garage scene since The B-Sides, whose 2009 album was among the best releases of that year. There have been a few signs of life, a single by The Barbara Farmers and a 12″ from stalwarts of the scene The Frantic V. But I was also impressed with The Basements’ debut ep from two years ago. Heart of Stone delivered the goods with moody songs heavy on organ in true Greek garage tradition (think The Cardinals, The Sound Explosion). The Lost In Tyme fanzine and record label who put it out (also home to The Mean Things, The Royal Hangmen, The Way-Outs etc.) must be proud of now being able to present us with the first album by The Basements (and the label’s first LP realease to boot!). With 12 strong numbers, I’m Dead shows that the group is here to stay.
Without resort to cover versions, they stretch the limits of their songwriting with a heavier sound and four songs clocking in above 4 minutes. Fans of their 45 will definitely want to check out “I Wanna Come Back” (not a cover!) with its moody harmonies and successful channelling of The Cardinals’ greatness. “What’s Goin’ On” follows a similar mood, with some howling harmonica licks. But the two strongest songs is the breakneck speed “I Don’t Want You No More” in classic put-down fashion, and the following track “Stray Mood” built on a a riff that’s so catchy it could rival “Little Black Egg”. The LP is rounded off by two slightly psychedelic cuts “Run Away Run” and “Hands On Time”. If The Basements can keep this up for another album they’ll have earned themselves a name not only on the Greek 60s scene but worldwide. I reckon they’ll get a load of European festival spots on the strength of this. Check out “Stray Mood” below!