This Basement article was written by Simon Carline, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Macon Oxley.
How do you say that grunge-tinged punk with hints of emo is ‘so hot right now’ without sounding like an avid follower of the Kardashians? It’s not possible, you say? You may just have to accept that statement for what it is, then, because it’s undoubtedly true and in Basement we have a prime example.
We should be thankful that we even have them as an example because the Ipswich lads have previously laid two killer words upon us prior to the release of their 2012 album, ‘Colourmeinkindess’. Those awful words were indefinite and hiatus which, when put together as they so often are by bands these days, always create an immense disappointment amongst their fans. It’s always the better bands, isn’t it?
The first reason to be thankful came in the summer of 2014, less than two years after the band announced that they wouldn’t be active for a very long time, owing to the fact that vocalist Andrew Fisher wished to train to become a teacher. The reason was a surprise EP, ‘Further Sky’, which was announced without a fanfare, as is Basement’s style. The band have since been very open about how they plan to operate around their ‘real lives’. It’s all very humble, even as they’re selling out US tours and providing main support to scene legends Brand New as they did on the Long Islanders’ European tour in September.
The end of that Brand New tour brings us nicely up to date with the October announcement of Basement’s new record, ‘Promise Everything’. It’s a record that refines everything that gained them such an avid following in the first place and puts them at the forefront of the UK’s punk scene.
On ‘Promise Everything’ they have effortlessly crafted their abrasive style of grunge-emo-punk in a way that focuses on melody and energy – an aim that was entirely purposeful according to guitarist Alex Henery in a recent interview with Noisey.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/225215216″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
There are plenty of standouts in this vein, starting with the album’s opener, ‘Brother’s Keeper’. Like a lot of the album it isn’t overly poppy, but you can’t help but sing along to the melodies as they hit you. The album really does start strongly, but it truly kicks into gear with the single, ‘Aquasun’. Its melancholic bounce harks back to a sound that a ‘What it is to Burn’-era Finch would be proud of. Try not to sing along; you’ll fail.
From there, ‘Promise Everything’ barely pauses for breath but even when it does on ‘Oversized’, it only further demonstrates Basement’s new-found tactful approach to songwriting. Previously they may have overindulged, but now they know the true meaning of concise: allowing the record to take a knee briefly before returning to the key points of melody and energy.
‘For You The Moon’ and the title track provide further examples of Basement being on top of their distinctively abrasive game before the album leaves us on the brisk slow-burn of ‘Halo’ – a track that allows us to absorb all that has come before it as the record draws to a close.
As a rule, Basement have previously only dealt in the understated. This approach might have to change after the release of ‘Promise Everything’, as it’s an album that deserves yours and the whole scene’s attention. To ignore it would be criminal; we don’t need to hear them using the dreaded H-word again any time soon.
‘Promise Everything’ is out now via Run For Cover Records.