Back in 2016, Ipswich’s Basement marked their return from a hiatus by releasing the excellent ‘Promise Everything’, a record that saw them back permanently and cement themselves as the UK benchmark for grunge infused melodic rock.
The Suffolk band are here now with its follow-up and their fourth full length, ‘Beside Myself’, their major label debut.
A sole guitar riff introduces the record on ‘Disconnect’ and welcomes us to a more polished sound, taking Basement into pure rock territory that puts them side-by-side with Jimmy Eat World or a more upbeat Turnover, and it suits them perfectly.
The no frills simplicity is still there and the laid back attitude is endearing as always, but there’s a slight added spring to the choruses that gives the songs melody that entices sing-alongs in virtually every track. ‘New Coast’ has that summer vibe that Weezer usually serve up, and vocalist Andrew Fisher shows what he brings to the table with a more aggressive performance during ‘Nothing Left’.
The hooks on ‘Beside Myself’ lure you in until you’re fully submerged in the track and get hit with a vocal line or a mesmerising bass riff that sticks with you for days. ‘Slip Away’ is the most obvious guitar lead track on the album and is an anthem ready for the airwaves, but the band are flawless on ‘Be Here Now’ on what must be the highlight of Basement‘s best album to date.
The songs are layered so delicately so you get more and more from them on repeat listens as you untangle them from all angles, which is a remarkable feat from what appears on the surface as a straight up rock record. The aforementioned ‘Nothing Left’ even graces us with a solo turned riff during the bridge, and Fisher joins the fold with an effective repeat of the second verse over the top.
Basement have been stars of the underground in the UK throughout their last three album cycles, but the sky is their own limit now with the quality and excitement that surrounds ‘Beside Myself’. The songs are more accessible and better than ever before, making it the perfect example of a gritty and inventive band earning a shot through a major record label.