Album Review: Basement – Promise Everything

By Megan Fair, Features Editor

[Run For Cover; 2016]

Rating: 3.5/5

Key Tracks: “Brother’s Keeper,” “Oversized”

Run For Cover darlings Basement have returned after a four year break with Promise Everything. Promise Everything offers infectious hooks and consistently pleasing guitar work, and feels cleaner and gentler than anything the band has put out to date.

Promise Everything, much like label mates Superheaven’s Ours Is Chrome is a modern take on alt-rock, taking the charm of ‘90s grunge and blending it with production that is far crisper. This is the kind of music that iHeartMedia’s alternative stations should be playing, but won’t because they are too busy filling the airwaves with dusty old hits like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Everlong.”

The album’s opening track “Brother’s Keeper” plays between driving and drifting, the chorus featuring a melody that listeners may find themselves humming for several hours after listening to the record. The harder, faster moments of the song are bouncy and fun, while the slower, drifting elements emanate the feeling of sitting in total stillness on a sunny day.

“Oversized” is simple but sweet, its loving tone and melancholy demeanor ringing of missing someone when you spend most of your year cramped in a tour van on the road: “And can you tell / My heart beats faster when you speak / And do you know heaven comes for only a week / And then it goes.” The chorus of “Oversized” displays beautiful harmony work.

Although the album sounds great, it does feel like something is missing here. It’s almost a little too clean, and could use some dirt and distortion. Whether or not the production needs some warmth or a bigger sound, Promise Everything feels like it has potential to be crushing and impressive performed in a live setting–however, on the record it could use a little extra umph.

Basement certainly aren’t reinventing the wheel here, but it doesn’t appear as though they’re trying to. If their intent is to make music that is satisfying to the ear as well as approachable and relatable to many with its crossover appeal, Basement are certainly doing the damn thing.

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