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Basics, The - 2003 Bitter/Sweet

Doug Cowen - vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion
Charles Neises - bass, guitars, keyboards, percussion
Ben Hahaj - drums, percussion

The Basics are a trio coming at you from the semi-rural reaches of Indiana. They recently sent their latest CD in for critique, and thanks to them for the opportunity. For readers of this site, The Basics are less about AOR and melodic rock, perhaps more about straight-ahead middle-of-the-road rock leaning toward the sixties era. If we take a healthy portion of mid-west jangle, and add a side-dish of southern fried raucous, then you end up with a style of music that The Basics indulge in. A band who sound somewhat similar are fellow mid-west bar/club rockers Antics, their fun-filled rollicking all too obvious for people to hear and see.

The Songs
The CD contains a healthy 12 tracks of straight-up rock n roll. Lets' have a quick run-through some of the tracks. The lead-off track 'In A Crowded Room' has a happy lilting edge to it, not unlike early REM for instance, while the (sort of) title track 'Bittersweet Road' dirties up the guitar tone, similar to 80's era John Mellancamp. 'What If And What Is' is a gentle acoustic wash, offset by the excitable 'Does The Bottle Burn', the ending finishing off in a great 'southern rock' guitar crescendo a la Hatchet, Skynyrd! A very pretty tune comes in the shape of 'Ignore The Daylight', a jangly acoustic/electric mix prevalent throughout.

In Summary
A lot of the tracks wash over me unfortunately, and to be honest, the music on display here is not earth-shatteringly different, dynamic, nor immediately compelling. However you to have to congratulate The Basics team for making an effort and putting product out in the marketplace. Good on them for that.

Track Listing:
01 In A Crowded Room
02 Bittersweet Road
03 City Of The Dead/Long Way To Hell
04 What If And What Is
05 Does The Bottle Burn?
06 Unlike Me
07 So Lame
08 Ignore The Daylight
09 Every Day Rain
10 Baby Bleu
11 Little Fool
12 Turn It Around

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