Basement has been showing an extensive amount of progression with each and every release under its belt, as every single member of this band seems to become noticeably better at what they do as time goes on. After going on hiatus for nearly two years, the band is back with an EP entitled Further Sky. Although the band’s prior record, Colourmeinkindness, did not receive a touring cycle, it is definitely nice to get some new tunes from these UK alt. rockers. Further Sky consists of two brand new tracks and a Suede cover, and it was recorded in North London's Livingston Studio – which has housed bands such as The Clash, Bjork, Placebo, R.E.M. and Muse. Despite the fact that Further Sky is a three-song EP, it carries the hype of a full-length record.
“Summer’s Colour” opens the EP up with riffs that most Basement fans will be familiar with. Although the track doesn’t stray too far from the Colourmeinkindness style, it definitely feels much bigger. The track also feels a bit more experimental than the band’s prior work. Aside from the incredible instrumental aspect, “Summer’s Colour” is also driven by some soaring vocals – and a chorus you will find yourself humming for the next couple weeks. The second track is the other original, “Jet.” This song is a lot more upbeat than “Summer’s Colour” – or, for that matter, almost any other Basement song. It’s a very attention-grabbing track that displays some new areas explored by the band; with upbeat verses and a mesmerizing chorus, “Jet” is unlike any prior Basement work. After hearing these two songs, it’s like the band never even took a break. It’s pretty incredible that a band can take a hiatus for more than a year then come back to pick up right where it left off. It just proves further, no pun intended, that Basement is the admirable band the fans make it out to be.
“Animal Nitrate,” which was originally released by a band called Suede on its self-titled record in 1993, is the cover song of the EP. If you are not familiar with the original band (or song), I would suggest checking it out before listening to the cover. Basement definitely had drawn influences from Suede on Colourmeinkindness, but the band made this cover its own. “Animal Nitrate” was an incredible song to begin with, so it was very relieving to discover that Basement did not take away from that whatsoever. You can tell the band had a lot of fun with this cover. It feels like a nice homage to Suede, as well as a great representation of what Basement’s sound is.
Overall, some people may find Further Sky to be a huge tease. In my opinion, Basement has put out its best material with every new release and just keeps getting better. Some people may be a little upset that the EP is so short, but you have to keep in mind that Colourmeinkindness never really received a proper touring cycle. Basement probably could have just went into these 2014 tours with the 2011 record, but the guys were kind enough to give us three more wonderful tracks. I believe these two original songs, and even the cover, represent where this band is currently; sonically, Basement is better than ever. This EP is another step in the right direction for Basement, and this release is only going to help this band grow even more. Further Sky may be a short release, but it feels monstrous – and it represents a bigger, better Basement.