Review Summary: Basement has never been about achieving anything; it was simply an enjoyable outlet for creativity and emotion.
2012 was a great year for music, but it also saw a lot of break-ups. We saw many huge
bands (Underoath, Alexisonfire, Thrice, etc.) split up. Now, the thing about all of the bands I mentioned above is that they all had really long runs as bands and managed to accomplish a lot before their end. UK’s Basement was only together for a mere three years, but in that time alone they managed to become one of the most buzzed about bands on the internet and make a lot of noise overseas in the US. Now, when I first listened to Basement sometime in 2011 after the release of their first album, I Wish I Could Stay Here
I will admit that they didn’t pique my interest as they did many others. I saw them as just another run of the mill emo/punk band. That’s not to say that their first album was bad, but it didn’t manage to stand out very much to me and I ended up just forgetting about Basement.
By the time they announced their break-up and final album, Colourmeinkindness
, I wasn’t really upset about it, but decided I’d give the album a listen upon it’s release. I listened to it once and immediately wrote it off as another release that lacked any originality and was boring. What I failed to realize was that Basement wasn’t shifting their sound to try and appear ‘different’ to their fan base, they were merely doing what any music lover would do; pay homage to their favorite bands, and that’s exactly what Colourmeinkindness
is. It’s a half hours worth of tribute to 90’s bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, etc., from a group of kids that grew up with a lot of angst, but loved and listened to music and wanted to have fun making it.
Here’s the thing about Colourmeinkindness
. That’s it. Good. As much as people would like to hype the album because it is Basement’s last, it just doesn’t manage to transcend anything or break any barriers musically. The album itself still has its standout tracks, but it also has tracks that are just plain boring. The first and second half of the album are both exceptionally well written, but have tracks that probably should have been cut from the album. Bad Apple
is exactly the sort of track that ruins the flow of the album. The first four tracks come in and leave you with a good impression, but then Bad Apple
comes in and bores the crap out of you. The lyrics don’t really help make the song any better being that they are all around lame with lines like, “bad apple, why do I want more" Skin so sweet, but you’re rotten to the core.”
Thankfully the next song, Breathe
is a breath of fresh air (no pun intended) with it’s beautifully arranged melodies and vocalist Andrew Fisher’s voice taking a soft tone that suits him very well with the surrounding crash of cymbals around him. It allows you to wash out the terrible quality of Bad Apple
, but it’s after this track that you hear the other lackluster track on the album, Control
. The song starts out promising, but never goes anywhere and leaves you wondering, “why is this even in here"” The effects used on Andrew’s voice are boring as hell and the whole track just manages to feel out of place on the album. The only redeemable part of that track is the last thirty seconds or so where the same riff from the beginning of the track is played again, but in a faster, more chaotic tone that could and should have been used in the first place to make an even better track.
As (mostly) enjoyable as Colourmeinkindness
is, there truly is a lack of ‘standout’ moments on the album. That’s not to say that the album doesn’t have any kickass tracks. Whole, Spoiled, Black,
and all of the other tracks on the album besides the two I mentioned are all good, but the true gem is withheld until the very end. It is the albums magnum opus, and shows exactly what Basement is about and the type of talent that in the future would have made Basement a band worth truly remembering. It encompasses all of the best moments on Colourmeinkindness
into one and blends them all together to make the second longest song on the album. Wish
is truly a stellar track and the only one that manages to truly stand out among the others. It incorporates all of the well-executed chord progressions, harsh vocals; the drumming that makes some tracks just that much better, the quiet moments on the album etc., all of it. It even incorporates the drowning vocal effect from Control but in this case makes it work in Fisher’s favor. It all culminates until the quiet build-up where we hear Fisher whisper Maybe I'll wait until my thoughts about you change, and the love that I once had returns again.
. The track then proceeds to fade away almost as quick as Basement’s time as a band on this earth has.
is an album that shows a whole lot of potential and would have definitely gotten me excited for a new Basement release if there were ever to be one. Its angst-ridden lyrics manage to not be cheesy and/or cliché at times and it’s a record that keeps creeping its way back into my ear at the most random of times. It’s an album that deserves a listen. It’s kids like us just wanting to make music. Not striving to be anything different or change anything. We bid farewell to Basement and hope that they may one day return with a follow-up to Colourmeinkindness
that truly embodies all of their creativeness and manages to be something more than just a tribute record. Goodbye, Basement.
Thank you for everything,
See you soon.
Alex, Andrew, Duncan, James and Ronan.