Teen angst has paid off well
As I grow older with every letter and word I type (and become aware of it), the more I notice that the music that I hold close, grows with me. Yeah, Daisy is probably Brand New’s favorite album, and I guess Radiohead isn’t really that bad. So does that mean I’m a sellout? Yeah probably, so call me a sellout.
Basement grew. Basement became the band that they were supposed to be. With their newest effort “Promise Everything,” a self-reflective, self-aware, record that shows youth through a clouded telescope, looking backwards, taking every aspect that made their previous records so good, and became aware they couldn’t do that again.
The first cymbal crashes of “Brother’s Keeper,” subtly being joined by fuzzy guitar, and the line “feelings come and go, I will let you know” is spat over cohesion beneath it. Basement got a 401k, a pair of pleated khakis, a J Crew button up, but wore it over a 1999 Jimmy Eat World shirt.
Is the energy gone? Absolutely not. This album is setting the cruise control at 12 over the speed limit on the highway, with the bass knob turned down a little bit because you don’t want to blow out your speakers. It’s not gassing every single green light you get, it’s not burning out of the McDonald’s parking lot. Even though those things are more satisfying in the moment, wouldn’t you want your car to last for years? “Promise Everything” persists with each listen.
In a lukewarm bath, Basement dives in and out with each track. Heavy distortion and crashing drums announce songs, then give space for vocals to depict the verses, then once again coming back together to deliver gigantic choruses (Aquasun, Hanging Around, Submission, and Promise Everything). Basement also uses atmosphere, mood, and slower pace to let you drift between songs (Halo, Oversized), giving the entire album balance and pacing.
If this was 2001, and MTV still cared about music, you would turn your TV on and see a new Basement song. But it isn’t, and MTV doesn’t. But I’m thankful as hell that I’m alive in a time that Basement is making music.
by Andy Wilcox (@wilco204)