Album Review: Basement – Further Sky EP

imageExpect the unexpected. It is perhaps this mantra that Basement fans should have been embodying since their hiatus two years ago. With a simple “Hi” posted on their twitter in January, Tumblr kids heralded a cry of joy that their favourite band would be re-uniting, mercilessly reblogging that enigmatic “Hi” to death. Another curveball was thrown merely a few hours later, listing tours in Australia, the USA and even Japan, as well as appearances at Reading and Leeds festival. But perhaps the biggest surprise was ‘Further Sky’, a three track EP released at the end of July, featuring brand new material alongside a cover of Britpop band Suede’s hit ‘Animal Nitrate’, of all things. Yet, the foreboding question is, despite selling out shows all around the world, are Basement as good as they once were?

Out of their previous releases, 2012 album ‘Colourmeinkindness’ was arguably their finest work. Embedded with grungy laden riffs and emo lyricism, Basement blended 90s alternative rock with more contemporary hardcore acts, giving Basement a unique blend of grunge, emo and alternative rock. Yet, this new EP marks a slight change in style in comparison to their previous releases. Opening track ‘Summer’s Colour’ sets the release off with a melodic guitar riff, that displays more of a pop sensibility in regards to their previous opening tracks. The song overall, offers a melancholic tone despite its accessible sound and sappy lyrics. For instance, as the chorus kicks in, vocalist Andrew Fisher wails, “Princess in a white dress, Queen in a dream”, giving the song a bittersweet appeal. Drummer James “Crab” Fisher proceeds to pummel this sound throughout the rest of the song. Providing ‘Summer’s Colour’ with a natural backbone, Crab’s drumming skills gives the listener a chance to air drum profusely while humming along to the catchy melody.

Following track ‘Jet’, is much more hard-hitting than the latter. Bassist Duncan Stewart’s heavy tone drives the song along, with its punchy beat offering something much more head bang-able to Basement fans in regard to previous material. As usual however, Andrew’s voice is beautifully melodic, soaring over the bass and guitar lines in the song effortlessly. Yet, he really hits the peak of his vocal abilities during the dreamier, more psychedelic moments of the song, as he softly croons, “It was only for an hour, It was only for us”.

Final song ‘Animal Nitrate’ strips down the glam charm that Suede was known for, replacing it with heartfelt vocals and a rock n roll groove, while still naturally paying homage to the classic Britpop sound that Basement grew up with.

Overall, the EP is a short affair, yet I think that’s forgivable considering it’s a band trying to find their feet after a break from the scene. However, to answer my question, are Basement as good as they once were? The answer is undoubtedly yes. As Basement nonetheless continue to sell out shows all over the world, fans will finally be able to see songs from ‘Colourmeinkindness’, and now ‘Further Sky’ performed live, as well as look forward to the new material that they have yet to offer. So hurry up with the album guys, and announce a UK tour while you’re at it. Noice.


‘Further Sky’ EP by Basement is out now on Run for Cover Records.

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Words by Harry Miller (@HarrryMiller)


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