Release Date: Jan 29, 2016
Record label: Run for Cover Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Since their return from hiatus in 2014 with their Further Sky EP, Basement have made steady progress with their songwriting. Colourmeinkindness found the band softening their sound with grungier influences after the hard-edged I Wish I Could Stay Here, and on their latest full-length, Promise Everything, the Ipswich quintet have refined it even further, demonstrating a knack for melody throughout. Andrew Fisher's vocals play a significant role in this shift, as he abandons his scratchy yell almost entirely — save for moments on the title track, the album's only outright aggressive song — and embraces a cleaner style that finds his voice soaring on songs like "Lose Your Grip.
Though the UK emo scene has enjoyed a proliferation of sorts since, when Ipswich's Basement announced they were calling it a day in 2012 the news was received with heavy hearts. Fortunately however, bands rarely split up forever these days, and while it might be easy to view such such reformations with scepticism (The Libertines anyone?) Basement weren't exactly in a position to cash in by doing so. As such, Promise Everything is as genuine and as sincere a comeback album as one might hope for.
Hailing from Ipswich, Britain's Basement make muscular, lyrical noise-rock influenced by a handful of '90s American guitar bands from Dinosaur Jr. to Braid. In 2012, despite a growing fan base that found them touring the States that year in support of their sophomore album, Colourmeinkindness, Basement announced they were going on an indefinite hiatus.
When it comes to bands splitting up but quickly reconvening just a few years later, it’s easy to raise an eyebrow and take the cynical stance. Back when Basement bowed out after the release of their 2012 album ‘Colourmeinkindness’ – and a lengthy farewell tour on both side of the Atlantic, to boot - however, it felt like a genuine loss. A staple of UK post-hardcore circles, their return’s since been welcomed with open arms and their newest full-length ‘Promise Everything’ epitomises all of the reasons fans were so eager for their hiatus to end.
Having returned from self-imposed exile last year, UK throwback-rockers Basement were apparently determined not to miss a step, releasing the Further Sky EP and sequestering themselves with longtime producer Sam Pura to craft a new full-length. The result is Promise Everything, their third LP and easily their most cohesive. On their sophomore effort, Colourmeinkindness, Basement demonstrated their affinity for guitar-heavy melodic hardcore muscle, with effortlessly memorable hooks and soul-searching lyrics that rang in fans’ ears long after the band declared their subsequent hiatus.
Review Summary: Basement play it safe and neither thrill nor offend.There’s a lot to be said for people who follow passions instead of pay checks. For Basement, getting part time jobs to fund hitting the road on tour, then rinsing and repeating the cycle ad infinitum was unsustainable. They only really had two options left open to them, make the band their livelihoods, or call it a day in search of the daily grind and the 9 to 5.
A Tumblr search of the band Basement's name reveals scores of viral fan-made content, from lyrically-inspired tattoo sheets to manicured shots of attractive young fans rocking their new merch. The Suffolk band's anguished romanticism continues to resonate with fans, primarily because it’s packaged in brooding rock tunes just sweet enough to get stuck in your head, but woozy and frequently dissonant enough to avoid sounding overproduced. After a two-year break, they’ve returned even more eager to explore that melodic direction with their third full-length, Promise Everything.
The promise of everything is a bold assertion to make, but with their new album, Basement don’t disappoint. Bidding farewell to their time together with an extensive set of tour dates, it really seemed like that would be the end for the Ipswich quintet. The post-hiatus release of 2012's Colourmeinkindness only served to make the sorrow run deeper: establishing the band as one of the post-hardcore greats, whilst affirming a resolution that everyone who listened wanted to avoid.