REVIEW: Basement – ‘Promise Everything’

basement promise everything

Artist: Basement
Album: Promise Everything
Label: Run For Cover Records
Genre: Rock

Basement return from a hiatus that lasted shorter than most people imagined, thankfully, with their third full-length, Promise Everything—a powerhouse rock record that continues the band’s deep roster of solid tunes, even if it feels a little less alluring than 2012’s Colourmeinkindness.

Beginning with “Brothers Keeper,” Basement open to more alt-rock roots from the grunge and emo-tinged past releases. Melodies are more soaring, guitars are brighter, though the percussion and bass still provide a static foundation, giving everyone else the room to soar.

Immediately felt within the first few tracks of Promise Everything is the band’s refined sense of tone and execution. Where Colourmeinkindness was heavily grunge inspired and a weighted listen, Promise Everything utilizes fresh air, probably breathed in from the band’s hiatus. Brighter and more refined, Basement return with a heightened sense of cohesive writing.

The album is certainly less varied than one would like on first listen, but as your time with Promise Everything grows, you begin to appreciate the simplicity and purity the band refreshes. Easily deemed a “riff album,” grooves are felt within the thundering guitars, led by vocalist Andrew Fisher’s smooth melodies. From “Brothers Keeper” onwards, tonally, the album is given full force thanks to producer Sam Pura.

Unfortunately the lyricism doesn’t seem to have changed much, which means we are left with lines like “when I’m high, I’m high, when I’m low, I’m low,” and so on. This tends to add to the album’s safety in a way. By that I mean when listening to Promise Everything, I enjoy it, but it surely is everything I would expect from Basement. Easily attached to a genre with other band’s bleeding through, Promise Everything is safe, and can feel a little phoned in because of it. Maybe it had to do with the band’s cross-oceans writing method or infringing deadlines, but I believe Basement could have the potential to finally break through genre molds and release something truly fantastic.

For what we have, though, tracks like “Aquasun,” “Brothers Keeper,” “Submission,” “Oversized” and “Halo” truly showcase the band’s keen sense on songwriting. But, since the songs blend so similarly and are seemingly constructed in a similar fashion, it may truly vary what songs are deemed favorites, since they all come from the same skin. Without knowing the album deeply, one may mix up track names due to similarity.

This isn’t to say Promise Everything isn’t a great listen, I just feel like it’s time for Basement to step up and really see what they can bring to the table.

SCORE: 7.5/10

Drew Caruso

Drew Caruso is a Bostonian who, when not writing about music and film, spends his time getting lost in New England, reading books, talking about science whether people want to listen or not, and more. To see the thoughts of a scientist by day and a writer by night, follow him on Twitter.
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