Review: Basement – Promise Everything
Run For Cover / Cooking Vinyl Australia
When Basement returned from hiatus, they came back to an entirely different scene: they were no longer looking at bands that were re-releasing the same album, peering through at Adventures creating a pastel-pop masterpiece, Title Fight getting their ‘gaze on and Turnover letting the dream into their pop rock shoe staring.
Clearly they learned from Darwin and took the teaching of adapt or die straight to heart. Instead of providing us with a replica, they’ve ventured into a softer sound, diving into poppier shades of rock rather than remaining in the dark. Ironically, by being light, Promise Everything comes down heavy, its heart-centred contrasts making it the most feels-taxing full-length of the lot. You know what they say about a butterfly flapping its wings causing a natural disaster on the other side of the world? Expect to curl up in a ball in an emotional state as soon as Andrew Fisher delivers a more tender verse. For real.
The mellowness of Promise Everything is beautifully disconcerting. Even when timid tracks like “Oversized” seem calmly romantic, they’re reinforced as only the calm before the storm, reiterated by songs like “Blinded Bye” that come in harder on the summery, bittersweet LP.
But it’s not just their manipulation of the listener’s emotions. Across the genres the album toys with, Basement are masterful, meshing emo and post-hardcore with pop rock and dream pop but not enough to define themselves by any one of those styles alone. Structurally, Basement are bold, closing “Lose Your Grip” on the self-reflexive lyric, “Can we end this conversation?”
Promise Everything sounds like the product of Weezer taking out American Football on a really, really successful first date. It’s a marriage of personalities, if you will: that of the musically darker Basement of the past and the current emotional mess of experimentation that they skilfully unite. With this seamless masterpiece, they’ve exhibited that they’re deserving of the hype they elicit in the tiny niche that they’re revered in.
Promise Everything is out now via Run For Cover Records/Cooking Vinyl Australia.