My first thought about the Basement Boys was that they’re a folkier version of their fellow Philadelphian’s the Dead Milkmen. “Tupac” has a gonzo-surf-punk vibe, but mellowed out with a bit of Bob Dylan.
The reality thought is that I find these guys a little bit harder to pigeonhole. Which is saying something. One of my biggest pet peeves when people say ‘We don’t really know who we sound like,’ because nearly without fail I can listen to them for 10 seconds and pin the genre down. But with these guys… well, it just ain’t working.
“The River” is an interesting slow dance. I love the the silliness of “milknarf (Interlude 1).” Somehow it’s possible to hear them telling jokes with the guitar licks. On “Untitled” I nearly recognize the opening guitar lick from some classic rock song, but then it’s mixed with banjo and harmonica and the song takes on a life of it’s own. “Honestly, Again?” is a perfect combination of doo-wop, early rock and roll and surf guitar. I love the laid back blues infused “Not Today.” “1234” continues songs in the Dead Milkmen vein and “Five” is a great closer with long guitar note bends.
The closest comparison I guess could be made would be to the Eagles. After all, both bands mix rock and roll with country or folk, but that’s like comparing Faith No More with Primus just because they’re both weird.