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Basement - I Wish I Could Stay Here (Cover Artwork)

Basement

Basement: I Wish I Could Stay HereI Wish I Could Stay Here (2011)
Run For Cover Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: OverDefinedOverDefined
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It would be really easy to call Basement the UK Title Fight. They've toured with Title Fight in the UK, they've put out records on the same label, and their respective sounds are rooted in the same late '90s/early '00s east coast melodic hardcore/pop-punk/emo vibe that seems to be re-blossoming thes.
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It would be really easy to call Basement the UK Title Fight. They've toured with Title Fight in the UK, they've put out records on the same label, and their respective sounds are rooted in the same late '90s/early '00s east coast melodic hardcore/pop-punk/emo vibe that seems to be re-blossoming these days. However, with these surface similarities, on this, their debut full-length, Basement has separated themselves from the pack and in many ways positioned themselves at the top of the heap of bands playing this style.

While working squarely within the confines of their genre, what really separates this band from the rest is the way they manage to use simplicity effectively. The songs aren't too complex, containing straightforward guitar parts and simple melodies in the vocals. That said, it is the vocals that are the band's best attributes. Vocalist Andrew Fisher pairs direct lyrics with unusually tasteful melodies that work well to effectuate the emotional intent of the song. For instance, in the sparse opening to "Earl Grey", it takes Fisher over a minute to get through the lines "I looked up at your window, and pretended I could see you. You don't live there anymore." This approach takes lyrics that, at first glance, could seem generic and trite, and instead wrings the maximum amount of emotional pull out of them. On top of that, Fisher is 99% perfect in pitch and tone, something that definitely cannot be said for many of the band's U.S. contemporaries.

However, with all of the positives, there are few downsides with this release. Most notably is the snare drum sound, which on the slower parts sounds more like an old tom, rather than having the crisp bite a snare should have. Initially I found it so distracting I thought that I would never get over it, but the quality of the rest of the release finally overshadowed it. Second is the instrumental track, "Ellipses", which I could have done without, or at least tacked on at the end. It's not bad really–it's just that when the vocals are so good, it seems like a waste to have nearly four minutes of just instruments go by.

What is perhaps most surprising (at least to me) about this release, is that it came out of nowhere. True, the band had a moderately well-received EP, but I found it wholly subpar, and even now, after being a convert with this record, I still don't find the EP to be all that interesting or to even show any indication of what the band was ultimately capable of.

Containing heartfelt emotional moments with a tasteful approach to the modern punk-emo sound, I Wish I Could Stay Here is the surprise record of the year for me. I would expect to see this on more than one year-end list this year.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Title Fight - ShedBalance and Composure - SeparationTouché Amoré - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and MeJoyce Manor - Joyce ManorThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundDefeater - Empty Days & Sleepless NightsTitle Fight - Floral GreenThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsMake Do and Mend - End Measured MileThe Wonder Years - Suburbia I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
SwissCheese (April 24, 2012)

I've listened to this album a couple times through so far and think it's great!! Definitely worth checking out.

popsandchips (September 8, 2011)

This band is nearly impossible to google.

cuts_like_drugs (August 18, 2011)

Apologies are awesome. Above Them takes it for best UK band for me.

Good album.

argh78 (August 10, 2011)

Great album. Agree that could have done without instrumental.

insinceredave (August 8, 2011)

Yeah Calvinball are pretty good for Latterman esq punk.

UK has some great bands at the moment, add Bonehouse, Well Wisher, Pacer, Sunday League, to excellent recommendations from others.

teaessare (August 7, 2011)

also calvinball rules. anyhoo, i'm gonna see this band in week or so on LI. it will be awesome.

damnitsderek (August 7, 2011)

When it comes to UK punk, don't forget The Arteries.

levi-dolphin (August 6, 2011)

Milloy is also an awesome punk band from the UK i just might move there as well. really good music: ) creating problems while practicing solutions is not reviewed on here if i was good with words i would right it. not trying to take anything away from Basement its very good maybe better than title fight good music all around

MitchthePunk (August 6, 2011)

Apologies, I Have None are an awesome band. Best out of Britain today. Honourable mentions to Templeton Pek, Maycomb and Room 4 1 More.

However, its a good review. Hopefully gonna pick this up and give it a spin by Wednesday.

wearestillalive (August 6, 2011)

The guy before me is fuckin' crazy, the UK has so much good punk right now. Apologies, Bangers, Fashanu, Bastions, Pudge, Crash Of Rhinos and dozens more.

kursk64 (August 5, 2011)

Between this, Leatherface and SHARKS I might have to drop my idea that the UK is incapable of creating good punk

inagreendase (August 5, 2011)

EP was good too, though.

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