The Basment Sessions are a Seattle-based super group who record most Sundays during the summer after rotating members smoke a few trees, drink shots of tequila, and bond over barbecue. Perhaps intentionally misspelled after burning a few too many, the all-star outfit is organized and produced by drummer Johnny “G” Graziadei of Kandi Coded and Endino’s Earthworm. Johnny G also wrote or co-wrote most of the 13 tracks and played drums on all of them.
Other contributors include Matt Pike (High on Fire, Sleep), Bubba Dupree (Void), members of Zeke, Jack Endino of Skin Yard and producer of Sub Pop albums, including Nirvana’s “Bleach” debut, and Dan Matthews from New Jersey’s own The Black Clouds and co-owner of Capacitor Records. Capacitor put the collection out because the label that released “Vol. 1 & 2” went under. Matthews also is good friends with Graziadei and Endino, the producer-engineer of the Clouds’ latest LP, “After All.” And he’s featured on the blistering opening track, “She Don’t Have One,” with Endino on bass.
The free spirit and great time that surrounded this collection, as well as the first one now available through Capacitor, is captured well by Graziadei in a loose but hearty production. The single, “Driving Lost,” featuring Dupree, not surprisingly stands out with its grungy rage ala Soundgarden and creepy darkness that channels Nine Inch Nails. Dupree also contributes nicely on three other tracks: “Trouble Yourself,” “This Sex Means War” and “Don’t Ask Why.” I also really like the thick groove of “How You Think You Feel,” featuring Erika Mayfield of the emerging Seattle band Steal Shit Do Drugs.
Bob Makin is a reporter at www.MyCentralJersey.com/entertainment, the Makin Waves columnist at www.NJArts.net and www.NewJerseyStage.com, and former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, to which he has been contributing since 1988.