It was a sad day for the UK post-hardcore scene when Basement went on hiatus in late 2012, following the release of “Colourmeinkindness” and a lengthy farewell tour. And then a happy one when the band was back already a little over a year later. A couple of months later, they released “Further Sky”, an EP that came with two new songs and a Suede cover. But we had to wait until now for a new full-length.
Not a whole lot has changed sonically… Basement still likes their riffs grunge-y and their hooks semi-catchy. You can still hear the band’s influences shine through on “Promise Everything”. A little bit of Sunny Day Real Estate here, some Hum and Far there with a shot of Jimmy Eat World thrown in for good measure. But everything (including the vocals) sounds smoother and cleaner this time around.
It’s a shame they ditched most of the rough edges. Sure, there’s a song like “Submission”, pretty much the best song on here with its palm-muted riffs and gritty vocals. The title track is not too shabby either, but ultimately falls short. Not in the least because of lines like ‘when I’m high, I’m high / when I’m low, I’m low’.
I don’t have anything against silky smooth songs. I mean, I’m a sucker for sugary songs as much as the next guy. But if you want to write that type of music, you better damn well make sure your songs are über-catchy. And well, these songs are not. “Oversized” for example, just kinda floats by and does absolutely nothing for a little under three minutes and “Halo” is a snoozefest.
It’s not that “Promise Everything” is a bad album. But despite their promise in the album title, they fail to deliver ‘everything’ and end up with an album that is simply okay.