The chorus of ‘Covet’ is: ‘When I’m with you/I don’t wanna be with you’. That’s sweet, I love spending time with you too…
Next comes ‘Spoiled’, where lead singer Andrew Fisher confesses: ‘I have never been in love/I pretend to care’. I love you too, sugarpie.
And ‘Pine’ goes a little something like: ‘Special…I wish you were special/But I don’t think of you that way’. Stop, you’re making me blush!
Track 5, ‘Bad Apple’, isn’t any more complimentary: ‘You’re rotten to the core’. You always know just the right thing to say.
If all that bile/apathy is about one relationship, then a) poor girl/boy and b) it’s fair to say that Fisher’s attitude to the ‘romance’ is, at best, indifferent.
OK, so we’ve established that Basement have taken the Dear John letter to a new level, but is this album actually any good? Well the word indifferent works quite well when describing both the tone of the album, and my feelings towards it.
At first they sounded something like Pixies or Minutemen, with dirty, bassy chords underpinning everything. But then they settle into a more mainstream sound. Most of the album consists of ponderous stoner rock and vaguely disinterested, Billie Joe Armstrong-esque nasal mutterings. It does drone on a little at times, relying upon bursts of life from guitars, rather than vocals, to bring it back to life.
It’s not a bad listen, just a forgettable one. Maybe Fisher should really embrace his cruelty and get really abusive with his lyrics. At least then this album wouldn’t be so beige.
Their previous album (“I Wish I Could Stay Here”) and EP (“Songs About The Weather”) were, despite the deceptive titles, much punkier and more engaging. I think that fans of their earlier stuff could be disappointed, or at least surprised, by this. On this latest, more introspective effort, the energetic opener, ‘Hole’, is as lively as it gets.
This will probably be Basement’s last recording after they split in July, but I won’t be shedding a tear over this break-up. They cited ‘a number of personal commitments’as the reason, but I somehow doubt Fisher is taking time off to start a family…