British four piece rock band Basement’s fourth studio album ‘Beside Myself’ echoes clear inspiration from bands such as Jimmy Eat World as well as including elements of punk, grunge, and modern emo. ‘Beside Myself’ was produced by Basement and Colin Brittian and shows a development to a cleaner more ‘radio friendly’ sound whilst also staying true to their post-hardcore and emo roots.
The record opens with ‘Disconnect’ which also served as the first single leading up to the albums release. ‘Disconnect’ seems to act as a radio friendly anthem which although athemic and memorable doesn’t deliver anything new and exciting and feels very inspired by the bands move to their new label Fueled By Ramen. It isn’t effective at setting the tone of the record although it doesn’t corrupt the rest of the track list as ‘Beside Myself’ has many redeeming qualities.
Another notable track on ‘Beside Myself’ is ‘Be Here Now.’ Released as the third single of the record, the track is much more effective at combing pop and rock in a way that does sound truly interesting. ‘Be Here Now’ is one of few songs on the record which really injects a lot of energy into the record and screams a punk inspired noise which also subdued by a sometimes over-produced sound, really adds a unique element to the record. The introductory guitar riff on this track is truly a highlight of this record and serves as one of two main guitar hooks, including the enchanting chorus guitar parts which highlight this song with delicacy and energy.
‘Beside Myself’ strives in the connection between the band members of Basement. The guitars of Alex Henery and Ronan Crix scream back and forth towards each other and create a lot of the emotion in the songs of this record. This is perhaps most apparent in ‘Stigmata’ and ‘Reason For Breathing’ which strive off the energy of the echoing guitars of this record. The record also deserves praise on its ability to show the emotional vocal range of Andrew Fisher (Vocals) as every song offers a slight emotional variation on his vocal which adds a lot of necessary depth to the record.
Although the vocals add a depth to the record they are notably more controlled and produced than those that feature in the bands previous efforts ‘I Wish I Could Stay Here’ (2011) and ‘Colourmeinkindness’ (2012.) The production of the vocals isn’t an issue although it does sometimes take awy from the emotion and vulnerability which Fisher portrayed in previous records. I would have liked to of heard more of the aggressive hard-hitting vocals that Fisher had iconized through songs such as ‘Fading.’ The passion that was conveyed in previous Basement’ records can be lost here which was one of their most valuable assets in previous albums.
Overall ‘Beside Myself’ is a mixed bag of anthemic tracks which combine elements of indie, punk, and 90s rock and more subdued tracks which didn’t leave a lasting impact on me. Overall, I enjoyed the record, sonically the record sounds good and doesn’t lack in depth, although I would of liked to the band express their more aggressive side more often.
Listen to ‘Beside Myself’ here.