Basement - Beside Myself (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Beside Myself (2018)

fueled by ramen

I've covered Basement extensively for Punknews over the years and caught them a couple times in the US, and even interviewed them when they switched from Run For Cover Records to Fueled By Ramen. Really awesome dudes, and if they read this, they still owe me a burrito I left on the tour bus last year. What got me into them was colourmeinkindness -- an emo-grunge record which I'd say put them on the map. However, after dialling their sound back from a less heavy vibe to something more mainstream and catchy on Promise Everything two years ago, well, Beside Myself is them absolutely going chill. It's the other sound of the spectrum for them and honestly, a sound I never thought I'd like from them, but oddly enough, it's some of their best music ever.

Interviewing them on this, they just wanted to make whatever they wanted, as it should be. Smooth, bouncy rock and roll fit for the 2000s and no longer walls of noise from the '90s. What makes it work is the tight musicianship and how tightly arranged everything is, which I guess some fans would call selling out with FBR, but then again, Paramore and The Front Bottoms made the same jump, made changes to their music, yet still sound good.

Basement here really channel their inner-Jimmy Eat World. "Disconnect" feels like something off Bleed American while "Nothing Left" has a Futures essence to it. Now, what really impressed me is there are catchy, college rock songs on all Basement records, but this record feels like they took them all and lumped them right here. And I have to admit, it's all spot on. The thing is, they get dirty too without the need to get all too heavy as seen on songs like "Slip Away" and "Ultraviolet" which are for fans of Rise Against, and the standout on tap -- "Stigmata" -- which is for fans of Incubus, Thrice, Deftones and Sunny Day Real Estate.

Ultimately, it's not just about these influences, it's about how everything is finessed together so seamlessly. The writing's powerful, the raw feel of old is still there, and while yes it's more commercial and better-produced, Basement still feel like art and not product. That, in and of itself, is a victory on its own.