That's One Well-Stocked Basement

Songs From the Basement, Vol. 3 (LABEL???)
Chris Katris

By Adam Raymond

Chris Katris' Songs from the Basement (Volume 3) is just what the title suggests: the third installment of songs recorded, mixed and produced in his very own basement. Acting as engineer, producer, agent, publicist and, oh yeah, musician, Katris constructed this 15-song album of what he describes as "basic rock 'n' roll a little on the roots side of the spectrum." I guess that's what you could call it.

Kartis' music is simple while managing to sound complicated. The songs are nothing more than good old fashioned rock with some obvious blues influences. But the album is heavy on the production. When I pick an album by one man, I expect to hear a guitar, probably acoustic, and a voice. Songs from the Basement is loaded with all of the instruments of a five-piece band and back up vocals provided by Katris himself.

Over-production doesn't make the album bad, though. The songs are entertaining and Katris is obviously a talented musician. Most of the tracks will make you tap your foot, but none will stick in your head. The opener, "Weighted," is the prime choice for a single, according to Katris, and I would have to agree. The catchy riff and his pleasant voice make the song one of the few that truly stand out. Meanwhile, "Your Intention" distinguishes itself from the others with some of Katris' best signing and a perfect melody.

All in all, the best description of Katris would have to be something like this: Eric Clapton's little brother - with too many mixing boards.