Basement - Songs About the Weather [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Songs About the Weather [7-inch] (2010)

City of Gold

Basement might call the town Ipswich in the UK home, but they sound like they came straight out of the fledgling post-hardcore/punk scene in Pennsylvania where it seems like everyone is trading in breakdowns for sounding like they're going to break down. But if the band resemble a logical hybrid of peers like Title Fight, Daylight and Bearings on their proper debut 7" (and boy do they), it's only because they're referring to a corresponding set of influences like Lifetime and Small Brown Bike--and putting them to similarly splendid use.

Songs About the Weather tears through a half-dozen tracks in just under 12 minutes' time, but the band manage to integrate plenty of creative changes anyhow. The lightly heartrending "Intro" transitions with a thump into the EP's first proper song, "Skip Town," which burns at a medium tempo for its first half and then kicks into an accelerated, melodic hardcore pace with a complementing guitar riff for its close. All the while, their frontman definitely has a more gravelly Ari Katz thing about him. It makes the whole thing rather familiar, but it's a take that's clearly buoyant and touching. The band does tend to that operative mode in most of the tracks, finding comfort in both slower burns and faster pushes, but subtle nuances give the motive versatility.

"DUI" utilizes a poppier guitar lead and the melody of some youthful, off-key backup vocals to offer a mid-EP break of tortured pop just before "Meet Me in St. Louis" traverses a fantastically angsty intro that slips into another more noodly series of melodies akin to the prior track. But then the latter develops a crunchy buildup for a dynamic punch to a cathartic, emotionally crumbling finish. Closer "White Elephant" is the longest track here, and it allows the band to play it a little more straightforwardly for some time, but they do it well and it certainly feels heartfelt.

A fluid and well-done debut. It should be a treat to hear Basement flesh things out for their first full-length next year on Run for Cover--even if they choose to Americanize their sound further.

White Elephant