Perhaps unsurprisingly given their Australasian roots, The Basics kick off their second album sounding not unlike Crowded House: by no means a bad start. Despite initial hopes, Keep Your Friends Close is missing many of the, as yet unrecorded, highlights of their live set. Which is a shame, because, some of the songs on offer here lack the strength required. At points there are a few too many simplistic lyrics on tracks like the self analytical -What Do You See In Me’ and -Home Again’ (‘Quit my job on a Friday, told all my friends I was flying’¦. Everything felt like a failure, I’d had enough of Australia’), but aspects of Talking Heads on songs like -Home Again’ raise this above the average.
Certain tunes capture a great melee of sounds that work, with an assortment of percussion and saxophone, on -The Executioner’. Whilst the more driving rockier sound on -Keep The Door Open’, towards the end of the album, is a pleasant surprise it feels slightly out of place. The final singer songwriter tune -All Or Nothing’ is intelligent and humourous and makes it an exceptional end to a strong album. Overall not earth shattering but worth tracking down.