Words by Josh Gibbs
I had the great pleasure of seeing Basement headline the Mohawk in August last year. Basement is a UK-based five-piece melodic-hardcore band that has molded its sound by mixing 90′s grunge and emo to make heavy alternative music. Their first two full-length releases, I Wish I Could Stay Here and the infamous Colourmeinkindness are widely regarded in the scene, with emotional anthems such as “Covet,” “Pine," “Yoke,” and so much more. Actually, just do yourself a favor and jam both of those albums in full. You won’t regret it.
Basement surprised many fans when they announced an indefinite hiatus after touring off of Colourmeinkindness. In 2014 they announced their return with announcement of a new three-song EP, “Further Sky." The EP foreshadowed a new album and a new sound stemming from more 90′s grunge influence than any of their previous releases. Now here we are, Basement’s comeback album, Promise Everything is here and will be released on January 29, 2016 on Run For Cover Records.
The opening track, “Brother’s Keeper” is a slapper for sure. It’s evident that this song will be a crowd pleaser when played live, with soaring crescendos and ripping guitars both distorted and clean in the middle where singer, Andrew Fischer swoons with his most improved vocal performance yet. The follow-up song “Hanging Around” is full of the sound that Colourmeinkindness offered, with a little more maturity. The guitars offer creative early 2000′s alternative-esque progressions but could still be more ambitious. The bass on the album is very meaty and gets a lot of attention throughout various breaks in songs. When the pinch harmonics start for “Aquasun,” the fourth track and one of the album’s three singles, you can feel the massive sound coming ahead. With a catchy chorus of “dive into me," the chosen vocal harmonies, and guitar work definitely bring out the 90′s influence in the song. The track following, “Submission” is the least attractive song on the album. It feels like a filler track and it comes off as the laziest. However, the vocal delivery, carried me through the song. “Oversized” follows, which had been my personal favorite of the three singles released. The song rocks and its mostly clean and the least passionate song of the album. I wish they chose a more mature way to structure the chorus though. “Blinded Bye” is a indie rocker track and showcases a newer sound for the band. The lyrics are mediocre, but the music is catchy enough to be on rock radio and not be terrible. “For You the Moon” is a cool track because it feels like kind of like an old Incubus song. The lyrics are very heartfelt in this one and the guitars are seriously on point. They tastefully use odd effects pedals and incorporate very well within the song. “Promise Nothing” was the world’s first taste of the new album. I personally, thought it was okay, nothing terrible by any means… but it shouldn’t have been the first taste of this album. “Aquasun” should’ve been the first single because it compacts all of the band’s progression and retention in sound in one place.
In short, Promise Everything is a great album but falls short in surpassing the grit and depth of Colourmeinkindness.
Album Rating: 7/10
Recommended tracks: “For You the Moon” / “Aquasun”
Stream the album in full here.