Basketball Knees “No Thanks”

Angst driven “No Thanks” by Basketball Knees, which is a dope band name.  The chorus sounds like an alarm, with falsetto vocals that remind me of Skeggs “L.S.D.” with a more aggressive guitar tone which I prefer to the softer tones in Skeggs.  Basketball Knees is for fans of acts like FIDLAR, Wavves, and everything that doesn’t like you and doesn’t care that you know it.    “No Thanks” is a head banger while also maintaining a more indie rock ‘cool’ vocally.  Check out the hilarious way Basketball Knees came to be playing over your headphones below.

Lyrically the song speaks to a feeling of helplessness against the tides of pressure whether it be capitalism, social trends, or whatever your heart is set against.  Partial to the key of A and angst this trio is three sharps. Sorry about the music theory giggle.  Though their chorus is kind of giggly and lighthearted as a juxtaposition to the iconoclastic verse lyrics.  “No Thanks” by Basketball Knees, check out the streaming link below as well as a biography from Basketball Knees about the origins of their name as well as their recording process, and what fuels their songwriting.


“Three ingredients, maximum flavour!” Okay, sure, when chef Gennaro Contaldo said this, he was talking about pasta, but he could easily have been describing the music of Basketball Knees. Featuring the three-kneed attack of Joel Wheeler, Amye Sagar and Stefan Dos Santos, the band is based out of Toronto, though comes from Nelson B.C., La Feria, Texas and Whitby, Ontario respectively. Despite being a trio, the band does as much as it can with their minimal set-up, including switching instruments and main vocal duties, to deliver catchy, surprising and tightly crafted scuzz-pop nuggets.

Formed initially by Wheeler and his friend, the elusive Peter Crisis, after a game of pickup basketball ended in a gruesome wound, Basketball Knees’ ethos was formed around this midway point between an inside joke and an injury. Joined by Coach Calvin Tse on drums, Crisis stepped aside, giving his spot to Amye Sagar. This lineup recorded their first album, Crisis Factory in 2016. Shortly after, Calvin also parted ways with the band, replaced by Stefan Dos Santos.

With their newest album, Tank, the band has refined and expanded on their sound by adding Sagar’s songwriting, harmonies and cymbal-stand guitar shredding into the mix along with Dos Santos’ energetic and propulsive drumming. Self-recorded and sitting in the mid-fi range of DIY, the album blends humour with more serious anxieties, big hooks, some quiet moments, and more than a few screams and blasts of fuzz for good measure.



About IAN MCFARLAND 418 Articles
Musician releasing music under self created record label

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