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Review: Basement – Colourmeinkindness

Band – Basement

Album – Colourmeinkindness

Label – Run For Cover Records

Coming up in tonight’s review:

“Holy fucking shitballs why the hell has this band split up!!?!!?!???!”

Last year Basement released one of my favourite records of that year, ‘I wish I could stay here’. It was a solid album full of Title Fight-esque melodic hardcore that I played time and again. I also got to see them play a show in Margate which really showed me what a great band they are so when news came that Basement were going on indefinite hiatus (splitting up) I thought it was a real shame. Now that I’ve heard ‘Colourmeinkindness’ I think this news is a fucking travesty.

This record is getting me all kinds of excited. If someone had said to me that all my favourite musical sub genres (grunge, punk and emo) would someday be combined together by bands to amazing effect I would’ve wanted to believe them but known that this’ll never happen. But to my disbelief it is happening. Playing ‘Colourmeinkindness’ and I’m suddenly transported back to that 13-year-old kid who lay in bed thinking my brother was a lying cock for coming home from his paper round with the news that Kurt Cobain was dead, or to the 17-year-old sitting in my friends flat being played Sunny Day Real Estate for the first time. Times when music seemed to be all that mattered, Basement make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and make me wanna get up and dance like an idiot the way all my best-loved bands do.

The album blasts in to life with ‘Whole’ and it’s an incredible start to the album. It shows Basement’s intentions from the start, they’re here to make a career defining rock album and they ain’t mucking about. The briefest of guitar intros quickly make way for the full band to kick in and already you’re left blown away by how loud and full on it is. What a way to start the record. The chorus makes you wish you were in front of the band in a packed venue screaming along with them and then the massive riff at the end makes you wish you were in the middle of the crowd going every kind of ape shit.

Before you know it the second song, ‘Covet’, has begun and here you have the first major nod to the early 90’s grunge sound with a song that owes a massive debt to the Pixies. Maybe it’s because I am still so in love with the music from that era but I’ve found a mass of grunge influences throughout the record. Maybe intentional or maybe I’m the only one who thinks it but here are a few examples of what I mean. ‘Spoiled’ reminds me of Alice In Chains, ‘Control’ has hints of ‘Superunknown’ style Soundgarden, ‘Black’ puts me in the mind of a sleazy early Stone Temple Pilots, ‘Comfort’ has a Yellow Ledbetter-esque intro and ‘Wish’ gives a big nod to a ‘Gish’ era Smashing Pumpkins. All of which are meant as huge compliments and all the while still retaining that Basement hardcore edge which attracted you to the band in the first place. You could hear this record a hundred times and get none of the references I just mentioned but you should be left with the same feeling. The feeling that you want to scream “Holy fucking shitballs why the hell has this band split up!!?!!?!???!” again and again until someone rings the council to make a noise pollution complaint against you.

Amongst all this you also have a couple of indie pop gems thrown in to the middle of the album. ‘Pine’ and ‘Bad Apple’ highlight a band capable of writing incredibly catchy pop songs that still never compromise on what the band is about. It’s another reason to love Basement and stops the record from becoming too much of one thing, it refreshes you so when they’re ready to unleash more 90’s inspired heaviness on you you’re more than ready.

‘Colourmeinkindness’ is a real surprise of a record. Not a surprise in the sense that Basement have made a truly brilliant album but a surprise in how they’ve done it. It at the same time feels like a unique record whilst also wearing their influences on their sleeve. Just over 10 years ago a massively exciting post hardcore band released a genre defining record called ‘Relationship of command’ and subsequently broke up before their time. Only time will tell if this record has that same impact, it could well do. I just hope that if it does that Basement don’t reform in 10 years time to headline Reading and appear like ghosts of their former selves. But, sod it, if they do I’ll be there singing along.

I love this record so much I’ve paid actual money TWICE for it. Downloaded from the Run for cover bandcamp page HERE.

And bought it on vinyl from Banquet Records HERE.

Basement play 2 final shows but they sold out quicker than I could say ‘ah, I’d quite like to go to that’

November 16 – Leeds – The Well

November 17 – Camden London – The Underworld

Thanks very much for reading. xx

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Review: Suis La Lune – Riala

Band – Suis La Lune

Album – Riala

Label – Topshelf Records

Europe is a breeding ground for amazing emo bands of all varieties. Emo, screamo, indiemo, happymo and all the other many types that exist under that banner. Maybe it’s the landscape, the heritage or the weather or maybe it’s just a coincidence that over the last 15 years European bands have made some of the best emo music that exists. Suis La Lune from Sweden are continuing this long tradition with their latest long player, ‘Riala’.

The first experience I had of Suis La Lune was early last year when they played in Margate with Pianos Become The Teeth. I didn’t have any expectations as I was a bit blindsided by the fact PBTT were playing so locally to where I lived so hadn’t thought to look Suis La Lune up, but as soon as they started I instantly became a fan. I was entranced by them. They sounded incredible and had killer facial hair, what more could you want? So it was more than exciting to find out they would be bringing their new album out on the fantastic Topshelf Records, home to PBTT, and even more exciting to find that the album is everything I had hoped for.

‘Riala’ is 10 songs of gorgeous emotional hardcore. What sets Suis La Lune apart is how well they manage to blend the loud parts with the quiet, the hardcore with the indie sounds. Other bands manage to do this very successfully but there is something Suis La Lune do that is utterly different. I think that its just how delicate and intricate the guitar play is on the quiter moments, they then manage to bleed this through in to the heavier parts. The result is incredible and they never lose any intensity or power throughout the album.

The album begins with ‘Cornea’ and with it they throw you straight in to the sound of the whole record. It is heavy and exciting while also being soft and beautiful. The way that over the shouty/screamed vocals and hardcore drumming the guitar remains simple and delicate which elevates the sound. Their as indie a hardcore band could ever be, you hear this clearly on the second song, ‘Stop Motion’. Played by another band this could be a classic British Indie song but played by them it still has this intense hardcore undercurrent. It’s hard to explain exactly and I probably haven’t done it enough justice.

This is a record best played from beginning to end, It doesn’t have any ‘stand out songs’ or hit singles as such, it’s a work of art that demands your full attention to give it the justice it deserves. All the way through the album there are moments to savour and enjoy, there are also moments of dischord and discomfort. The vocals blend in to the sound as an extra instrument, delivered with emotion and desperation throughout. There are times when they come to the fore like on ‘All that meant something’, where the repeated refrain ‘You took it away from me’ is the closest the album comes to a sing-a-long moment.  The title track, ‘Riala’, serves nicley to break the album up a bit, It’s kind of like a majestical post rock lullaby and then the closing track, ‘One and all, every bit’, sends the album off in the most epically brilliant way.

‘Riala’ by Suis La Lune is a really great record, it has a classic emo/screamo/whatever sound but still comes across as refreshing and new. It’s available to download from Topshelf Records bandcamp HERE, they tour the UK in August and I can’t wait to see them at Hevy.

Hope you enjoy and cheers for reading x

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