Basement
Promise Everything


2.9
good

Review

by VheissuCrisis EMERITUS
February 2nd, 2016 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Basement play it safe and neither thrill nor offend.

There’s a lot to be said for people who follow passions instead of pay checks. For Basement, getting part time jobs to fund hitting the road on tour, then rinsing and repeating the cycle ad infinitum was unsustainable. They only really had two options left open to them, make the band their livelihoods, or call it a day in search of the daily grind and the 9 to 5. For a couple of years Andrew Fisher and co chose the latter; Basement was chalked up as a fun-while-it-lasted project fuelled by the audacity of youth, but that viewpoint didn’t last long. As it so often does to people who love their craft, the passion resurfaced and usurped the all too comfortable promise of a steady job and a steady income. Given the road they’ve travelled and the sacrifices they’ve made to make Basement their whole lives, it’s not difficult to understand why Promise Everything turned out the way it did. It’s full of melody and vocal hooks, and it treads the well compressed dirt of the road signposted ‘radio rock’.

The urgent vocals which comprised I Wish I Could Stay Here have all but disappeared, and the gritty, grungy sound of Colourmeinkindness has been toned down significantly too. In a nutshell, Promise Everything sees Basement do their best Jimmy Eat World impression. It’s a comparison which they openly welcome, even describing themselves as “like that but a bit more abrasive.” While the comparison was likely a quick fix to satiate the needs of prying interviewers, it does hold true. The songwriting, the reliance on hooks, and vocalist Fisher doing his best Jim Adkins impersonation all attest to that. It’s debatable whether reducing themselves to little more than an abrasive Jimmy Eat World was part of their natural progression or whether they’ve compromised in order to feed both their love of music and their families, but the cynic in me leans toward the latter.

Promise Everything is undeniably the band’s most cohesive record yet, but some might find the tracks slightly indistinguishable as they bleed from one to the next. The fuzzy, distorted tone which the guitars adopt acts as the band’s comfort blanket as they burn from one mid-tempo rocker to the next, rarely deviating before returning to its familiar confines. It remains practically untouched throughout, and the lack of variety is one of the album’s main downfalls: it all feels a bit too safe, a bit too predictable, and a bit too easy. Because of this, the times when they do choose to deviate from the formula stand out brightly and noticeably. The tasteful solo on “Submission,” the excellent opening riff to “Aquasun” which disappears much too quickly, and the shouted vocals at the end of “Lose Your Grip” all force you to pay attention to a record which is content far too often to let you breeze through it unharmed. Perhaps the album’s biggest success is the more-audible-than-ever bass work of Duncan Stewart, who is afforded more room to breathe and shines as a result: just take the midpoint of stellar title track “Promise Everything,” where he deviates from the lead guitars and lays down a superb groove which is steadily built upon, before the song rushes to its conclusion.

Ultimately, Promise Everything is a solid collection of songs written by a band that, over the course of 3 albums, have shown that they rarely write a bad song. However, the majority of the songs feel a little too secure within their own skin; a little too tentative to deviate from the safety of their rough midtempo origins. There are moments, of course, but they’re too few and far between to make a lasting impact, certainly not enough to make you want to hit replay immediately. Basement are back and seemingly here to stay this time, and only time will tell if the compromises they’ve made to their sound will pay dividends. Promise Everything neither thrills nor offends, but plenty will still find comfort in the easy listening experience it provides.




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user ratings (260)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
calgarydude12 (4)
Teenage angst has paid off well...



Comments:Add a Comment 
VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
February 2nd 2016


1371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Maybe I'm just becoming harsh in my old age.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
February 2nd 2016


20915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i definitely feel you on some of these points. its a bit safe and too samey but theres still some killer tracks on here that make up for it imo. good review though

BlacKapes
February 2nd 2016


1941 Comments


stopped reading at "Promise Everything neither thrills nor offends, but plenty will still find comfort in the easy listening experience it provides."

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
February 2nd 2016


1371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Me too, review went downhill after that.

rufinthefury
February 2nd 2016


2977 Comments


it's too cohesive and it all kinda bleeds together but the stand out tracks on here are just fantastic. For You the Moon and the title track are both absolutely incredible.

ShitsofRain
February 3rd 2016


8081 Comments


hello radio music

henryChinaski
February 3rd 2016


3962 Comments


Damn, totally forgot this came out, listening now. Nice write-up!

Digging: My Epic - Ultraviolet

danielcardoso
February 3rd 2016


11684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This may need some more time to sink in for me atm.

calgarydude12
February 3rd 2016


260 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sick review Dan H. It doesn't touch Colourmeinkindness

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2016


11294 Comments


Great review man, single is pretty cool

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
February 4th 2016


1371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cheers all. Still got hope they'll up their game again with the next one.

danielcardoso
February 4th 2016


11684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The title track really seems to be the biggest standout for me here. Summary is spot on bud, cheers.

loveisamixtape
February 5th 2016


7467 Comments


aquasun is so good

RockBottom
February 8th 2016


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aquasun thrills me to no end. Moreover, I find more similarities to Cave-In's Antenna album than to anything JEW has made, both in sound and voice.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2016


20915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fav tracks are def: Promise Everything, Aquasun, Brother's Keeper, and Halo

I couldnt get the ending melody of Halo out of my head last night...so good

CuddlyCaucasian
February 9th 2016


98 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I found it to be about equally as samey as Colourmekindness honestly

redrig
February 9th 2016


123 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is totally a letdown

eventheminions
February 14th 2016


37 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Interesting. I found this album utterly thrilling and captivating. Must have listened to it a dozen times by now.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2016


20915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the melody of the "ooh oohs" at the end of Halo is so beautiful. i find myself humming it all the time

eaglefan1998
February 17th 2016


152 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

saw these guys live a cuple days ago, but I still don't get why people enjoy them so much, it all seems so standard pop punk to me



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