Album Reviews

J. Robbins Basilisk Punk Rock Theory
Friday, February 2, 2024 - 09:16
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Following 2019’s ‘Un-becoming,’ J. Robbins is back with his second solo album, ‘Basilisk’. Recorded over the course of two sessions in 2021 and 2022 with lots of recording at home in between and after, ‘Basilisk’ comes with eleven songs that see Robbins incorporating elements of rock, punk and more atmospheric, electronic music while going for a more direct sound than on previous outings.

Opener ‘Automaticity’ starts off sounding not unlike a NIN song, before evolving into something that is as catchy as it is sharp. Previously released single ‘Exquisite Corpse’is a propulsive song that goes back to the best of 90’s rock while packing a killer guitar solo by Chicago punk legend John Haggerty.  From there on, anything goes… the frenzied ‘The Last War’ finds Robbins comparing historical events with the US’ current state, ‘A Ray Of Sunlight’ sounds like a great song that Bob Mould hasn’t gotten round to writing just yet while ‘Not The End’ comes off as a dark lullaby as written by Eels. And then there’s more ambient cuts like ‘Sonder’ and closing track ‘Dead Eyed God,’ which find Robbins channeling his love for movie soundtracks and the work of Peter Gabriel.

Featuring everything that Robbins is known for along with some new elements, ‘Basilisk’ is a very diverse album that is however consistently impressive, smart and laden with surprising twists and turns, different sounds and big hooks. An absolute pleasure of an album to listen to.


Basilisk track list:

  1. Automaticity
  2. Exquisite Corpse
  3. Last War
  4. Gasoline Rainbows
  5. Not The End
  6. Old Soul
  7. A Ray of Sunlight
  8. Deception Island
  9. Sonder
  10. Open Mind
  11. Dead Eyed God
Tom Dumarey
Tom Dumarey

Lacking the talent to actually play in a band, Tom decided he would write about bands instead. Turns out his writing skills are mediocre at best as well.