ARTIST: BASEMENT

TITLE: BESIDE MYSELF

LABEL: FUELED BY RAMEN

RATING: 8 /10 

WORDS: MATT LUNN

Ipswich’s favourite sons have returned with their first release since 2016’s “Promise Everything” which was embraced with positive reviews and propelled them to a higher status as a band. Their new LP, “Beside Myself” is the first release on titan label, Fueled By Ramen, once again moving up the ranks and having the opportunity to become one of the UK’s best exports.

One of the main perks of being on a major label is that the band can now take a longer length of time growing their ideas; nurturing their sound to make sure that they can top their last album. The big question is have they managed it?

“they’re not only growing as a band, but in their musical capabilities also….”

The album is described as “an intimate look at the drawbacks of living in your own head, and the attempt to shake off everyday anxieties” which to be fair is a pretty accurate depiction of the themes. Their first single, “Disconnect” kick starts the release discussing the pains of ambivalence, not being drowned in your own thoughts and negativities. Weirdly, for the themes that are portrayed within it, it’s vibrant and punchy. The sort of sound you can get lost in and drown out the daily rubbish that fills our craniums. This also goes for a handful of the other material on the release, “Be Here Now” and “Keepsake” push the classic Basement sound statement, raw, punchy and full of alternative rock energy. Guitarists Alex Henery and Ronan Crix have perfected maintaining their sound with minimalist riffs, raspy rhythm tones and most important, not making all the songs sound the same.

The album also has sombre moments, “Changing Lanes” is short and sweet, craddling Andrew Fisher’s deep macabre vocals, which have never sounded better. Discussing the topic of fragility of human existence and that at any point you could be in a fatal accident, the band delve into the worry and possibly of not existing. The open space between acoustic guitar and echoing vocal melodies creates the craving for more material like this from the band in the future, showing how little instrumentation can create a huge atmosphere. Showing they’re not only growing as a band, but in their musical capabilities also.

“‘Showcasing what they’re capable of and why they are a force to be reckoned with.”

It really seems like the band have worn their heart and minds on their sleeve for this release, pouring out their anxieties and worries in a way where it’s easy to audibly digest for the listener. Whether it being spontaneous fatality to being held down by your own negativities, they hold nothing back for their fans.

“Beside Myself” is a statement but also a step forward for the band. Showcasing what they’re capable of and why they are a force to be reckoned with. A harmonious documentation of the struggles trapped inside your own head, and thwarting it by venting it out in the open air. It’s going to be a good year to be in Basement.

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