Promise Everything - Basement
By Benjamin Irons
Returning from their hiatus, Basement have settled back comfortably with their most recent release of the new year Promise Everything, which sees the Ipswich outfit monopolise the same territory they left following the release of their previous full-length Colourmeinkindness back in 2012.
Artwork by R.V, 1974. R.V was a teenage drug patient living in 1970's West Germany. The painting found its way into a German art publication, where Basement tracked it down to use as the cover art.
While Colourmeinkindness immersed the band in a rather punk-rock state of affairs, Promise Everything exhibits a similar approach but rather more mature and refined; notably, through Andrew Fisher's change in vocal style from a gravelly rasp to something more concordant and melodious - a change that has suited both Fisher and the band alike.
''Brothers Keeper'', the album's opening track, is one of my favourites on the album. Fisher's polished vocals are complimented nicely by the buoyant hook and fast/slow dynamic throughout. ''Hanging Around'' fashions an upbeat twang on guitar throughout, which again is admired brilliantly by Fisher's ripe vocal ability.
Catchier numbers like ''Lose Your Grip'' and ''Submission'' broaden the album's sulky tone to something more energetic and uplifting, whereas downcast numbers like ''Halo'' and ''Oversized'' reinforce a more sorrowful ambience through the glum vocal tone and stripping of their conventional raw edge.
''Aquasun'' and ''For You The Moon'' are arguably the easiest listens on the album; simplistic in structure and sound, despite adopting a rather generic, radio-friendly quality to them, they're still my most likeable tracks on the album. On the other hand, ''Blinded Bye'' adhered to a rather blanket, 90's American description that admittedly became quite a chore to listen to.
Nonetheless, I can happily say that Promise Everything has cemented my overall interest in the band's affectionate approach to the alternative rock circle. While arguably its only shades different from their previous full-length, theres no denying that this album is a strong effort with a lot to like. Although I would have hoped to catch a glimpse of Fisher's throaty vocals seen in previous works, Basement's tendency to focus on adopting new sounds is no surprise and i'm eager to see where their new direction in the alternative scene takes them.