Basement - I Wish I Could Stay Here Release date: July 5th, 2011
Record label: Run For Cover Records
Basement, an Ipswich, UK-based band release their first full length, I Wish I Could Stay Here, with the confidence and experience of a well-seasoned veteran; a welcome shot in the arm for a scene that was saturated with limp copycats of glory days long gone.
There is something very '90s emo (please don’t run away just yet) about Basement. I was immediately sucked back into my teenage years with glimpses of Sunny Day Real Estate and The Get Up Kids. So why mention other bands when I likened their genre comrades as copycats? Well, to put it simply, Basement stand apart from the crowd. They sound fresh and have a direct energy about their music that denotes a clear purpose, and that is to rock, very hard.
From the first track, "Fading," you are thrown into a barrage of riffs, driving drums and thick bass lines before the double vocal attack which reminded me somewhat of Hot Water Music with smoother edges. Vocally, Basement is simply excellent – on the one hand; raspy, passionate, loud vocals that are then counterbalanced by a smoother toned voice, no less passionate but allows you to swoop through the melodies with ease.
Lyrically, Basement are not exactly inspiring nor have they written anything that will mark you, but in their defense they are to the point and relatively solid and do not over extend themselves into cheap lines to capture the fragile imagination of a teenage/young adults emotional wreck.
"Canada Square" sees the band lower the tempo and volume taking you on a different journey entirely. The song "Earl Grey" is also a calmer number that gives a welcome change of pace to an album that is generally moving forward at a considerable pace. The vocals are still passionate, and before you know it the song bursts into a double time punk sounding explosion. "Ellipses" follows as an instrumental piece again slowing the pace down just a bit after the prior outburst. "Crickets Throw Their Voice" & "Every Single Word" are standouts. Relentless, they fight their way into your ears and body and you’ll be head banging your way through immediately; melodically superb, changes of pace within the song astute, vocally evocative – quality rock music.
The other songs are all solid in their own right – they, like the previously mentioned tracks, follow the same principles that saw the pioneers of the genre dig in their heels and be remembered for long over a decade now. I Wish I Could Stay Here, they say? Let me be first in line to welcome Basement in and sleep on the couch; heck, even my own bed is up for grabs if they continue to write music like this.
It's really the first time in years that a band in this genre has grabbed me this much.
That says a lot.
When I first listened to the record, I wanted to skip tracks and be like nah...not my thing. But I couldn't, and I didn't. I found myself listening to them all, wanting to hear more. His voice is great.