As with other bands in the scene that get a rough ride in our forums (Sharks being the primary example here), when you actually pick the music apart it’s hard to tell exactly why they’re singled out. Basement’s ‘colourmeinkindness’ is their supposed final record (see you in two years, guys), and to be honest – it’s pretty fucking solid.
‘Colourmeinkindness’ slots in vaguely with the throwback grunge / alt-rock wave crashing at the moment, and though grunge is still very much a dirty word with some, there’s little doubt that bands like Lower Than Atlantis and Xcerts are taking nods from the early nineties Sub Pop Records, and Basement display a fair few of the same influences. ‘Bad Apple’ and ‘Covet’ almost are almost Smashing Pumpkins-esque, and the vocal slides over the darker pop sound effortless throughout the tracks. That said, the band sit pretty with bands like Balance & Composure and Transit – they’ve balanced melody and riffs well here, and the production is pretty much nail-on-the-head stuff.
With that in mind, if the description above makes you think that you’ll hate the record, you probably will. It’s lacking the pace that some of their contemporaries enjoy, and it’s certainly got that grunge flick that will simply wind some people up. Examples A and B – the chorus riffs of ‘Black’ are very much a modern twist on the classic grunge chord progressions from the mid-nineties, and the ‘Wish’ chorus vocal gets a little bit too Scott Stapp in places. Despite all of the above, it’s not a dated or terrible sounding record at all (it’s not even really a grunge record).
Those incredibly lazy comparisons are there for a reason – Basement probably don’t sound like 90% of people think they do. The band’s reputation has preceded them somewhat, and many haven’t quite given them the chances that they should have done. Whether that was one of the reasons behind their choice to label this their last album remains to be seen, but hopefully a bit of a break might help the band’s sound sink in with people a little better. ‘Spoiled’ and opener ‘Whole’ are probably the two most impressive efforts on the album once you’ve give given it a few spins, but they’re very much parts of a whole – ‘Colourmeinkindness’ will be a bit much for some but as alt rock records go, it’s a solid listen that you’ll probably come back to me. Worth giving it a go, but without a live show to follow it up, it may still go over people’s heads.