“Promise Everything”, the new album from Ipswich based band Basement, see’s the group twist from a very grungy album in 2012, to a pure heavy rock power chording anthem fest. It’s short at 30 minutes but those thirty minutes rarely let up from beginning to end.
Each song has a clever hook. Opener “Brother’s Keeper” switches the verse and chorus loudness around so that the chorus is the breather in what is a crystal clean guitar jangle. The riffs simply don’t stop coming and “Hanging Around” get’s the densely packed bass, guitars and drums pushing around a lightly euphoric chord structure. Vocally, the lyrics are very sharp and pointed. Each track is drenched in lyrics of polite frustration, angry and being influx. In many ways it reaches it’s peak with the phenomenal “Lose Your Grip” which has a paranoid guitar riff and explodes into a frenzied scream of the final lines. “Am I moving on or giving in? Can we end this conversation?” – I wonder how much of that comes from the band’s hiatus.
Sonically the album is a one punch deal but it’s a might punch of classic guitar. It’s crisp, crunchy and with bite to it like. “Aquasun” is the radio smash hit in waiting with its beautiful guitar harmonics giving the track and the album a little brightness before the power chords of “Submission” that pushes back slightly to the grungier side with one of the few guitar solos on the album.”Oversized” then splits the album down the middle with quieter brooding piece that gives you a little pant for breath.
“Blinded Eye” sounds like a homage to Green Day – even the vocal delivery matches it with the backing vocals and guitar chords rotating around themselves. “For you The Moon” is the most discordant track on the album and therefore the muddiest and grungiest although “Promise Everything” is a three chord screamer and feels like a rush to the head of frustration as the band crows “I won’t ask for love – I know its there just covered up.” It’s one of the albums stand out tracks and leaves you on a high before “Halo” ends the album with a suitably depressed come down. It’s like you’ve hit a wall of emotional energy and need to limp over the line and the lethargy is in every note.
Basement have delivered my first top notch rock album of 2016. It’s short and concise – but it’s perfectly formed without filler or need to stop jamming along. It’s a corker.
Recommended track: “Hanging Around”