The Basics – Wait for You EP : Album Reviews
Fans of The Basics will be overjoyed that live favourite Wait for You has finally been immortalized on this half live- half studio EP. After the recording of their live album, we thought that, perhaps, the Basics might take a breather. You know, rest on their laurels. Foolish we!
As well as a May residency at the Northcote Social Club (where the aforementioned live album was recorded), the band have released this, a seven-track EP containing a mixture of new tracks, fan faves and, er, an old standard…
The disc opens with an oddly Dukes of Windsor circa The Others choral; oh, but there is that familiar jaunty guitar riff. The added video game-esque sound effects are adorable. Drummer/ vocalist Wally DeBacker’s melodious vocals ring out, and bass-man Kris Schroeder and guitarist Tim Heath play back-up. The track is a cheery throwback to the band’s older material (somewhere between Get Back and Stand Out/ Fit In); urban doo-wop? In any case, I get a distinctively Temptations/ Spinners vibe from this, and I like it.
Time to bring it down a notch; I Could Be Happy has Schroeder on lead vocals, dripping with vulnerability. A soaring, melancholic ballad with Heath and DeBacker adding swooning voice in parts. “How can I forget you, when I know how good you taste/ I know it’s wrong, but it’s just a song” wails Schroeder beautifully, and a towering sax solo by Jake Mason gives it a great power ballad touch.
Ho-ly shit! This is it! Get Me Down is the reason people love this band. A deeply sixties-esque rock guitar opening (a little Angus Young, a little Kinks) and Heath- for some reason- introducing the track in a British accent makes the track sound like it should’ve opened The Boat That Rocked. Stuttering riffage, rock and roll wailing vocals (each member fighting for vox-dominance!); I found myself unconsciously bobbing my head in time. A couple of minutes in, an epic appropriation of Beethoven’s Fur Elise inexplicably but delightfully pumps in, splashy cymbals abounding and, as quick as it arrived, is gone in another flurry of chaotic rock and roll axe.
To come down after that detonation, the live part of the EP begins, starting with Happy Birthday. The tracks were recorded at their 2009 Corner Hotel show in Melbourne, and some chummy banter leads into another live favourite, Second Best. The tracks gets quite prog somewhere in the middle there, and I worry the Basics will take a little more influence than is healthy from Dreamtheater, Marillion, et al, but luckily it is just the boys being the boys and smashing about into a cacophony of rock sounds. Over the years, the Basics boys have become more and more comfortable going off the beaten track, or, hell, the setlist.
A growing squelching sound signals the beginnings of Stand Out/ Fit In opener, Rattle My Chain. The head-banging drumbeats, climbing keys and eventual beefy solo by Mr Heath- supoib.
The disc is topped with J.J Cale cover, Cocaine. Personally, I would have preferred The Basics’ Gimme Some Lovin’ or Put The Lime in the Coconut, but one is not in charge. Another fine disc from a fine, fine band.