Bassholes CD reviews [Dead Canary/Secret Keeper]



Music Reviews
Bassholes CD reviews [Dead Canary/Secret Keeper]
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Feb 28, 2005, 19:12

BASSHOLES CD BASSHOLES Broke Chamber Music CD

Bassholes has been kicking two-piece lo-fi garage-country-blues, with the occasional twisted mind-fuck, for more than a decade. This represents about one-third of singer/guitarist Don Howland's music career that began in the early eighties with Great Plains and ended the decade as one quarter of the influential Gibson Bros. While Bassholes can often be an acquired taste there have been moments of brilliance captured by releases on In The Red (When My Blue Moon Turns Red) and Matador (Long Way Blues). Their latest, self-titled release on Dead Canary, finds Howland and long time drummer Bim in full kick-it mode slamming home the opening track-—a scorching cover of Blind Willie McTell's “Broke Down Engine.” What follows is a solid Bassholes record free of filler that finds Howland in fine form turning in his most accessible (for Don Howland) record since Long Way Blues. Definitely building on the momentum of his last two studio releases, Howland has put together something that has the possibility of finally breaking through to some much deserved recognition. Can't say there was a better garage record released this year.

Broke Chamber Music collects 23 songs from out of print singles and unreleased tracks, most of which were recorded in a funeral home on a four track. There are some great finds here that range from “98 in the Shade” from their first single to the cover of Blind Lemon Jefferson's “Pneumonia.” However, there are a few that you can skip (“Hokey Pokey”) and a couple that are just are just weird (“Hey OJ”). Nonetheless, it's still Bassholes and worth the price of not having to track down some of these singles. [Dead Canary/Secret Keeper]

-Troy Brookins

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