Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Basement – how had I not heard of you until 2018!? I feel like Basement are the emotional rock band for us that have reached our mid-thirties. If back in the day you enjoyed the music of Jimmy Eat World, Funeral For a Friend, Weezer, Cave In and Brand New and going back further you listened to the likes of Sunny Day Real Estate, Pearl Jam and Nirvana then this band will tap into your musical subconscious.
Basement formed in 2009, hailing from Ipswich in the UK and formed from a previous pop punk collaboration. Their first album I Wish I could Stay Here is probably as close to punk as they’ve ever been with juggernaut guitars, thrashy choruses and a hint of AFI about them. You could certainly hear the direction they were heading. Ellipses and Early Grey offer moments of solitude.
Colourmeinkindness is my personal favourite album and their second offering and is where the band found their own sound. It’s like a linear Biffy Clyro. Where Biffy go from Z to A to T to U to M in an alphabetical/travel musical metaphor Basement are a bit more “as the crow flies” and I think in a time of Grime and Dub Step sometimes some distortion taking you up and down the neck of the guitar is a welcome break. “When I’m with you, I don’t want to be with, you” is a humerous but fantastic lyric as it sounds like it’s going to be a sweet love song but instead is a song about somebody’s destructive and fatalistic nature.
The band then announced a hiatus and their twitter read 2008-2012. Welp. Luckily I wasn’t aware of them to miss them, but I imagine fans welcomed the third, and often most difficult album. Between the second and third albums a tour and EP was announced. The hiatus was over. Summer’s Colour and Jet on the EP definitely had a positive feel and their cover of Suede’s Animal Nitrate showed that maybe Basement were having some fun after their break.
Promise Everything, the band's third offering, has a more mature sounding vocal with melodic verses. There is definitely a feel here of the aforementioned Cave In, Weezer and Funeral For a Friend influences with a hint of the Brit pop era. Perhaps the Suede cover was a pre-curser to this sound. The album closes with a cover of The Cardigan’s My Favourite Game. Still enjoying themselves then!
As I write this and listen to the opening track of 2018’s Beside Myself I have finally figured out who they remind me of – My Vitriol. What a band they were and coincidentally they have just played a couple of shows and have an upcoming EP. Anyway, I digress! I LOVE Basement’s fourth album. Their sound triggers nostalgia in me, this album was the soundtrack to my life in 2019 and the lyrics really hit home. Nothing Left is heartbreaking and features a brief guitar solo that the pain resonates through. Just a life shows a songwriter pondering the way we live, Reason For Breathing a man that’s been cheated and Right Here is a sound of acceptance. Fuck it, I think this is my favourite album by them.
This band are incredible, and I can’t believe that they’ve been around for ages and were around for nine years before I even heard them after a chance conversation with a likeminded work colleague. I’m now here for the journey with you Basement, as it happens!