Basement
Beside Myself


4.5
superb

Review

by JesperL USER (16 Reviews)
October 13th, 2018 | 57 replies


Release Date: 10/12/2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I've lost all my sense of time.

I love sadness. I love the fact that I am able to be sad from time to time. At risk of sounding like an edgy teenager, the ‘darkness’ of sadness (not depression) attracts me. There is something oddly comforting about spending an evening crying for no apparent reason, accompanied by music that does very little to lift the mood. Some bold claim like ‘it makes me feel human’ would make me sound more interesting than I am; simply put, sadness is mainly appreciated in retrospect. The realisation that you are feeling ‘okay’ or ‘happy’ holds so much more weight and meaning knowing that this is not a permanent thing.

On Beside Myself, Basement have captured a sound that, despite its relatively upbeat and catchy nature, invites the listener to explore a darker and somewhat confused and lost side of the band. The confused nature of the record presents itself on the magnificent opener ‘Disconnect’, as vocalist Andrew Fisher asks the listener a lot of questions. Can he go back to where he started? Can you help him out? While it’s easy to dismiss such lyrics as standard fare white-guy-is-sad ramblings, both the simplistic nature of the words and Fisher’s delivery make the track feel extremely genuine. While sadness has been glamorised a lot in music as of recently, Basement is not interested in making it out to be something it’s not. It’s simply a part of life, and it’s a real, normal thing.

Beside Myself picks up where the band left off on previous effort Promise Everything and raises the bar in every way. ‘Ultraviolet’ proves this with its chilling lyrics reflecting on the events of the terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge in 2017. Set to intricate drums, guitars and basslines brilliantly playing off each other, the bridge paints a clear picture: “Bodies danced to the sound of screams and broken glass”. There is something eerily refreshing about the simplistic effectiveness of these instrumentals and lyrics. Everything feels extremely bare and pure, like the band has nothing to hide: no tricks, just the music, passion and pain. The song does not feel like it deals with a massive tragedy: it feels like someone dealing with a massive tragedy from a very human perspective.

Never losing steam, the album easily makes its way through twelve tracks without ever presenting filler. Every song differentiates itself enough from its predecessor without depriving Beside Myself’s cohesion, with semi-interlude ‘Changing Lanes’ adding a nice acoustic touch. It brilliantly precedes album highlight ‘Stigmata’, increasing the impact of the latter song’s massive intro. ‘Stigmata’ is a notably darker affair, with its chorus featuring an intriguing harmony stating that ‘It feels like / We’re falling in the dark’, perfectly capturing the captivating nature of, as Fisher stated, ‘feeling incredibly low without any particular reason’.

Throughout the record, Basement have found an impressive balance. The album features enough engaging and memorable instrumentation to keep listeners interested for the full runtime, without ever sounding overly complex or indulgent. Forming the perfect screen for Fisher’s words and outstanding vocals to be projected on, Beside Myself is the band’s most authentic work to date. In spite of now being signed to a label known for having bands turn into shells of their former selves, Basement stay true to their sound while improving on all aspects of their craft. Subtle experimentation in slightly heavier songs like ‘Reason For Breathing’ depicts the album shifting to a darker, more dynamic side the band has never shown before.

A lot can be said about Beside Myself. Every track is worth a mention, but the overall feel of the album is what makes it a truly special release. The record is authentic; every riff, every fill, every lyric feels like it belongs. While the album raises more questions than answers, the bridge of ‘Disconnect’ finds Fisher concluding he has lost his sense of time. It’s what sadness does to someone. It’s not beautiful, it’s not awful.. it just is what it is.



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user ratings (135)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
JesperL
October 13th 2018


447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haven't written any reviews in a while so i hope it's readable lmao. really glad this album is this fantastic, was somewhat scared after they signed to fbr and did that unnecessary deluxe

Lucman
October 13th 2018


3202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. This record is so good! Love the JEW vibes.

Digging: Courtney Swain - Between Blood and Ocean

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2018


32092 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"JEW vibes"

sold.



Great review.

Digging: Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell

Lucman
October 13th 2018


3202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Be Here Now" is so JEW like it's a little uncanny. I can see myself bumping this with some more listens.

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2018


32092 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm on that track now and I can feel it. I don't want this to fall into the category of JEW cover band though so hopefully there's a little more to it.

Snake.
October 13th 2018


21799 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMkqerdVYNc



prob the closest you'll get to jimmy vibes on here

Digging: American Football - American Football (LP3)

Lucman
October 13th 2018


3202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It definitely has its own sound for the most part. The title track is the only one that goes a little overboard.

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2018


32092 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what title track?

Lucman
October 13th 2018


3202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oops haha. I meant Be Here Now.

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2018


32092 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh ok I figured -- yeah 4 tracks in now and this is varied enough

will report back with the verdict later

Nbehre11
October 13th 2018


197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, can’t wait to check this out as I loved “promise everything.”

Digging: Tiny Moving Parts - Breathe

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2018


32092 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album. It has a super heavy Jimmy Eat World vibe throughout but somehow manages to get away with it. Maybe it's just because the songs are so solid front to back.

Keepsake is so damn catchy.

JesperL
October 13th 2018


447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks guys! it's definitely very jew worship heavy, but i do think they have their own sound for most of this. think stigmata shows that best

Lucman
October 13th 2018


3202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Definitely. The closer on here is beautiful as well.

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 13th 2018


32092 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah I'm spinning this again and the closer is out of this world

xfearbefore
October 13th 2018


1859 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shit I just realized I never listened to their last album. Their first two albums are some of my favorites released in the past decade.

oneups
October 14th 2018


86 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Honestly wasn't a big fan of their previous work but this sounds interesting and I loved their earlier stuff. The Jimmy Eat World comparisons pull me a bit for sure. I'll spin and give an opinion later. Regardless, solid review and I came away feeling like I understood what to expect going in. Have a pos.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
October 14th 2018


24913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Actually pretty hype for this

JesperL
October 14th 2018


447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

feels like this is what promise everything should've been. only the best tracks on that record (aquasun, t/t, brothers keeper) are up to par w most on this

Mardorien
October 14th 2018


96 Comments


Do you think it's worth looking at any of this band's other stuff before I listen to this?



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