The Snails – s/t (Action Records 2012) / The Basements – “Im Dead” (Lost In Tyme Records 2012)

Greece and Italy (or the Mediterraenean in general) seems to be a hotbed for Freakbeat / Garage revival bands since the wave was started by The Fuzztones and The Cynics and a few other US acts who also have toured that part of the world extensively since the early 80’s, and are very popular down there. So what we have is a genre, which in my younger LSD trippin’ art student days, was a favorite of mine, owning The Fuzztones Lysergic Emanations CD, a handful of Bevis Frond CDs (all this bought at the Wild Mind shop in Oslo, R.I.P.) and several “Nuggets” comps (I now have many of the expanded box sets). In the late 80s I was a big fan of The Doors as well. All personal history aside, I’ll get to the point: if you like listening to the same stuff over and over, the snarling vocals, the fuzz guitars, the Farfisa organ, fine, then these two Greek-beat (a new genre?) platters are for you. You probably have all 12″ and 10″ and 7″‘es by The Fuzztones already stashed away with your incense holder, lava lamp, etc., somewhere from last time you had a session at the turntable.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore the 60’s stuff, the innocence of the era (at least the innocent part these bands try to recapture), I have just “moved on”. I sometimes play LA Woman by The Doors, dig out a Yardbirds or Who album or skip through a “Best of The Small Faces” for old time’s sake, delve into bands from the 60’s on occasion, sometimes a quick scan thru of my expensive “Nuggets” boxes once in a blue moon. But doing all this over again, reviving it, it’s fun but it cannot be a valid lifestyle unless you are totally dedicated only to Freakbeat or Garage, which I am not, I am afraid. I love Third Bardo’s I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time and The Snails do it justice. There’s loads of great harmonies to be found on the Basements CD, it’s all nicely done. But revivalism of this genre in 2013 is best left to the original 80’s wave of bands. Its not bad at all, if you dig the Fuzztones in a hardcore way, please do pick up these two CDs, you’ll think they are fuckin’ great. But if you, like me, feel like the 60’s were more than just Strawberry Alarm Clock or The Seeds and frankly, burned out on drugs and Nuggets albums by the time you were 25, explored new worlds, maybe went a little insane on harder drugs and evolved into a reptile-like humanoid, and found you preferred other genres than 60’s revivalism, don’t bother. To me, who likes all kinds of rock music made between 1962-2013, I feel a kinship to the Freakbeat and Garage revival, though I let it be an obscure part of my musical hereditary makeup, although these bands are both very good at what they do… But it’s just not my cuppa… so to speak. Onward to Fuzz!

For more information on The Snails visit
For more information on The Basements visit

Reviewed by Christian Eric Mumford

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