Basement – ‘Beside Myself’

By Tom Walsh

Since debuting in 2011, there has been a gradual transformation of Basement’s sound. Bursting into the public conscious toeing the line between pop punk and post-hardcore, they have subtly morphed into a straight-up rock band.

The Ipswich five-piece’s fourth studio album ‘Beside Myself’ is the latest step on this evolution. It brings together hints of those tropes displayed in 2011’s ‘I Wish I Could Stay Here’ and blends it with a more mature, considered sound. It is a slick production with polished notes and builds on where 2016’s ‘Promise Everything’ left off.

The self-imposed hiatus four years ago and relocation to the US has seemingly recalibrated Basement, and ‘Beside Myself’ demonstrates a band hitting the peak of their powers. It is a heartfelt record, and while they have previously stressed that it is not a concept album, it focuses on the struggles that many people face in an uncertain world.

Opening track and lead single ‘Disconnect’ speaks of feeling uncomfortable about the past and lamenting on things that can no longer be changed. There are hints of Jimmy Eat World mixing with early Thrice, with front man Andrew Fisher’s rasping vocals sitting comfortably with the falsetto harmonies and looping guitar riffs.

The album swings between angst and hope with the tremendously foreboding ‘Nothing Left’ wrapped in the confusing sense of loss, while ‘New Coast’ searches for contentment in a dark world. The rage and noise have become more refined as Basement have progressed and where once it felt as if these tracks would be screamed into a, well, basement, they now could easily be held up as stadium anthems.

There are tender moments with acoustic song ‘Changing Lanes’ while the closer of ‘Right Here’ is an achingly beautiful wish to be able to live in the moment.

‘Beside Myself’ feels like an important moment for Basement. Building on the rounded rock sound of ‘Promise Everything’, it lays down a poignant marker for the five-piece and whets the appetite for their next move.

TOM WALSH

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