1980s power balladeer and one-time punk Belinda Carlisle said it best; heaven is a place …
A deeply self-aware album decorated with bright guitars, rumbling basslines and delicate drums, Beside Myself, the fourth studio album from UK punks Basement, promises an exploration of the sense of self with, we’d hope by now, a well-grounded statement in sound. Unfortunately that direction wavers in wishy washy musicianship and a fractured see-saw of emotional uncertainty.
But punk? Really? Who the hell decided on that label? More like lavish indie-rock, post-grunge at best. Pigeon-holes aside, Basement hark back to much of the best of the 1990s, however, their intention to be relatable and find favour with more than just their usual crowd results in a bit of a push and pull among the band, particularly when there are occurrences like when the bass line runs away from the vocals on Slip Away.
You’re not going to get lost in Beside Myself, you will, to some degree, find yourself in the euphoric and positive lesson about accepting the present and moving beyond the past.
Lovely as it is to hear for its genuine relatability and booming bass line, in Disconnect the vocals often seem strained as a result what could have been an utterly beautiful and rapid ballad, seems a little whiny. Disconnect, indeed. Striking straight into Be Here Now, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were listening to the same track.
There’s the usual rampant fury we’ve come to expect from Basement in tracks like Nothing Left, Stigmata and acoustic number Changing Lanes, in which Basement ignite the soul with what feels like something a little fresher and serves as a nice little interjection in the release among the muddy others.
You’re not going to get lost in Beside Myself, you will, to some degree, find yourself in the euphoric and positive lesson about accepting the present and moving beyond the past–you will, however, lose Basement at times along the way, as they wallow sluggishly in sometimes overthought ideas.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Nothing Left, Changing Lanes, New Coast
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Citizen, The Story So Far, Moose Blood