Basement – Beside Myself (Album Review)

The Ipswitch based Basement has done nothing but move forward after their hiatus in 2012. What feels like a new band, Basement has gained significant attention over the past three years with constant touring and signing to major labels in the U.S., creating a lot of buzz about the rejuvenated band. “Beside Myself”, their newest release is just another notch in the belt of the band’s success and showing everyone they don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

Basement has been a relatively new band for me, hearing singles through friends and learning about them more prominently a few years ago I was hooked. Reminding me of 90’s rock meets 2000’s pop-punk, the band hit a cord with me that wasn’t going to let go. Listening to their previous releases on a constant loop, I was more than eager when hearing of a 2018 release from the band. Basement has hit that point where they could go either way in terms of their sound. It is around this time when a band truly shows where their intentions lie, either adapting and growing their sound while keeping fundamentals or repeating themselves over and over.

Luckily Basement has fallen into the earlier rather than the latter. From the first single they released, “Disconnect” you could instantly tell this would be a newer sound than what you’re used to. Andrew Fisher does more singing than yelling not only on “Disconnect” but throughout the album, creating a more fluid and balanced album. The band knows when it’s right to be mad and show angst in a song, and when to portray that angst in a more acceptable way. This not only shows their growth and adaptability as a band but creates a new audience that normally wouldn’t look twice at them. Nice job fellas.

Not only do the vocals add a great layer to the depth of the band, but their ability to create an album that ebbs and flows exactly when you need and wants it to. The shining example of this is the transition from “Changing Lanes” into “Stigmata”. “Changing Lanes” being the shortest and slowest track on the album gives you the acoustic break that is sometimes needed in a high pace, high energy album. The track gives a sinking feeling in emotion, “As metal finds its way / Into a final resting place / I struggle to find the right words to say / And as we’re changing lanes / At an alarming rate / I close my eyes and drive as I pray / Drive as I pray”.

There’s a sense of hopelessness, but having to keep going, hoping for the best. Now when I say the transition is a highlight of the record, I’m not only talking about the energy and pace at which the tracks move in but that the emotion conveyed in “Changing Lanes” is the same carried into and through “Stigmata”. “Stigmata” is a track of feeling low for no reason and how it feels like that’s how it’s supposed to be. This beautiful execution is a testament to the band keeping true to their more emo/punk roots and showing how effective they can be with their sound.

This highlight falls pretty early in the record, so you might be assuming you don’t have to pay attention to the rest of the record, you would be wrong. Tracks like “New Coast”, “Reason For Breathing” and “Just a Life” are well crafted, emotional and heavy hitters for rounding out this album.

Basement is furthest from their name they could possibly be. They seem to be levitating above everyone else and creating nothing but gold. “Beside Myself” allows their fundamental sound to grow in a positive way allowing new fans to jump into the pool and be welcomed, and fans who have been following them for a while to be surprised and happy with the bands growth.