[sic] Magazine

Basement – Promise Everything

In 2012 Basement were just another, excuse the pun, underground emo-punk band. In that year they released their cultish Colourmeinkindness LP, however, and, even though the band then announced their break-up, it would, through word-of-mouth, become a sleeper smash. To everyone’s surprise the Ipswich rockers then returned in 2014 with the Further Sky EP in support of a global tour. That considered, to those in the know, their new record, Promise Everything, does exactly that. The problem is, though, that while still drawing from the same palette of influences, Basement like to experiment and, with more obvious melodies, Promise Everything is toying with the big time as a result. Its production is set to peak for more or less everything in mid-ranges and almost every track weighs in around the three-minute mark. The album’s running order never outstays its welcome therefore, but neither does it have the scope to get truly wild nor rip it up with smash-and-grab speed.

Looking at himself in the polished reflection, singer Andrew Fisher doesn’t seem overly convinced by the result either, frequently sounding bored and only coming to life during a couple of snarling outros. He has a point, too, as truth be told there’s as much generic indie guitar action in Promise Everything’s DNA as there are trace elements of emo and hardcore. A track like “Brother Keeper”, for example, is reminiscent of a time when bands like Feeder ruled the day-time air waves. Lead single, “Aquasun”, too, seems a little lacklustre, Basement’s new-found optimism paired with stadium-sized choruses that hit only like smudging your nose against the window of a party at which you’ve arrived too late. It’s not poor per se, and the wet-necked newb might get on board with stuff like this, but it’s really rather transparent gateway fodder to the more experienced hand. Marginally better and in the same vein, “Blinded Bye” is a mid-paced chug down Green Day’s boulevard of broken dreams. How apt.

Promise Eveything is not all bad news, though. Rumbling with potential, Duncan Stewart’s low-slung basslines are special throughout for one thing and they play their part in the early, pogoing early bars of “Submission” – a track with a nicely serrated middle and sweet solo to close. Perhaps inevitably, Stewart’s heavy-thrumbed thumb-work comes to a head on the emotive one-two “For You The Moon” and the title track. Two of the best tracks on the album, the slow-burning former conjures angsty teens caught in a monochrome drizzle, its taught guitars alive with wiry suspense; the latter, on the other hand, pits graunching synth-noise versus intelligent restraint in order to let the music do the talking between rousing choruses – Fisher finally injecting some (literally) breathless passion to proceedings. You’ll just have to pretend drippy tracks like “Oversized” and “Halo” aren’t there to fully enjoy them though.

Best track: “Promise Everything”

~Promise Everything is released January 29th 2016 via Run For Cover.~