Review Summary: You are breathing for us now. Leave your life here behind. You will never come back home. No sir, never again.
Sometimes when listening to an album, you feel an almost instantaneous sensation that was never hidden and never took multiple replays of the release to feel. You feel it from the first note to the last note and its sensation remains constant with every replay. The Exploration is a band with an interesting story, coming back to life from near obscurity because of the endless curiosity of people looking for new bands. 'Basement Demo' was initially released in 2009. The band shortly brokeup afterward and any source of their music online was promptly deleted. This left it’s appearance back on the internet in the hands of people who had bought physical releases. But there is a reason why people would even want to take the time to put this band back out. Simply put, Basement Demo is a real gem.
Though the name “Basement Demo” would give you the idea of poor quality, this is not the case. Songs like The Ocean roll out in before you in a very refined sound with it’s smooth ‘Twiddly Twiddly’ guitar noodling that gives the vocalist all he needs to deliver his uncontrolled and raw shouts which can be comparable to an untamed combination of La Dispute and Listener. Though the words raw, uncontrolled, and untamed give the idea that the vocals are a dragging factor on this release, it is actually the exact opposite. The vocals are really what gives this release its appeal. The song “I Guess, I’m Leaving” is an example of the perfect harmony between the vocals and the instruments. The ponderous tapping drums are soft and simple. The guitar and bass gently play almost the same melody throughout its five-minute duration only changing ever so slightly at certain points. The vocalist then delivers his parts in his strained and uncontrolled manner and brings to life a story about moving on through stressful times and looking out for yourself. The flow of such versus like, “Get on the boat. It’s time we set sail. If we wait any longer there’s no doubt that we’ll fail” is one of the crowning achievements of Basement Demo. The Vocalist is almost able to tell a story in the two parts of the song where he is able to pour out his heart almost seamlessly.
Though The Exploration may be long gone, its music was thankfully left behind. The Exploration’s music can be easily digested and understood almost instantaneously. Once you have consumed its music, both your mind and stomach will agree with you leaving you satisfied afterward. What should be noted is that this album doesn’t try to push any boundaries nor does it try to be a classic however, it still full of beauty and delightful to stumble on bands like them and indulge in the simplicity of their songs, and within their simplicity lies its beauty. Though people may and rightfully should disagree with me and my definition of beauty, the word beauty is a subjective and personal word so for me it makes perfect sense to call this album beautiful, but I digress.