2022 marks the 10th anniversary of BASEMENT‘s era-defining sophomore full-length, Colourmeinkindness, and to celebrate, the band have announced a deluxe reissue due out October 21st from Run For Cover Records.
The reissue will include the original album along with new artwork, liner notes from the band, and four new versions of standout tracks. Today Basement have shared their updated take on “Breathe,” reworking the mid-album behemoth into a cut of jangly indie that proves just how lasting and airtight the songwriting on Colourmeinkindness is.
Along with groups like Title Fight, Superheaven, and Balance and Composure, Basement helped shape the sound of punk in the 2010s, and like many releases from those bands, Colourmeinkindness could have come out today and still feel as fresh and exciting as it did a decade ago.
Drawing equally from ’90s alternative and classic emo, the record was instrumental in drawing a line from punk and post-hardcore to shoegaze, grunge, and more. Basement went on a lengthy hiatus soon after the album’s release in 2012, only furthering the record’s impact and starting the ripples that are still felt in a new generation of bands today.
The album’s blend of punk energy and widescreen guitar rock ambition can be heard in the DNA of countless bands and since Basement’s return the band’s audience has only continued to grow. Colourmeinkindness (Deluxe Anniversary Edition) offers a chance to rediscover this landmark release–and to hear it in a new way.
The release features drastically different versions of Colourmeinkindness cuts, reworked or stripped back, bringing to mind the kind of new and essential takes found on classic MTV Unplugged performances from the ’90s.
Colourmeinkindness (Deluxe Anniversary Edition) is due out October 21st via Run For Cover Records
It didn’t take long for the title of Basement’s debut record, I Wish I Could Stay Here, to seem like something of a misnomer.
Just a year after the album’s release, it was already becoming clear that the group had no intention of staying there–whether that just meant their historic port town home of Ipswich in Suffolk, England; or the relative confines of the turn-of-the-century emo sound they’d already deftly mastered. The promising young band was setting their sights somewhere else as they prepared to make their landmark sophomore album, Colourmeinkindness. The record started to carry Basement to the brink of wider success, only to find the band announcing a hiatus months before it even came out–but a decade later the album’s clear influence, and Basement’s triumphant return, are proof of Colourmeinkindness’ era-defining impact.
Back in the summer of 2012, however, Basement found themselves on the west coast of America for the first time, beginning to record their hotly anticipated new album. But the band had arrived slightly unprepared; guitarist Ronan Crix claims the band only had half the songs written for the soon-to-be massive album. His bandmate and other guitarist, Alex Henery, claimed it was “the most chaotic process we have ever gone about writing a record.” Henery recalls that the band managed to “work as hard and as quickly” as they could to finish writing the other half of the album, including staying up until 4 a.m. their first night in the studio. But the hectic pace and intense focus paid off, resulting in an ambitious musical evolution that drew together the threads of modern punk and emo with past widescreen guitar rock to create something that felt urgent and new.
Colourmeinkindness found Basement pulling from not only one of emo’s zeniths–early Sunny Day Real Estate–but also channeling heavy and sometimes hazy ‘90s alt-rock, with hints of behemoths like Pixies, Silverchair, and Catherine Wheel shaping the sound. Vocalist Andrew Fisher fit that grunge mold of a maudlin-but-thoughtful protagonist, ruminating on toxic relationships, personal desolation, and desperate longing, with slivers of optimism occasionally peeking through. From the dynamic one-two punch of churning opener “Whole” into the balladic doom of “Covet”, to the sneering grunge of “Black” and gentle ease of “Comfort”, Basement effortlessly moved between sounds and styles while keeping the underlying energy of their roots in punk and hardcore.
Upon its release, Colourmeinkindness quickly won over fans old and new, but the members of Basement had already committed themselves to exploring other avenues in their lives and after a few impressive record release shows, the group went on hiatus. When they eventually returned the ripples of Colourmeinkindness were already clear: A thriving scene had begun to crop up around Basement’s like-minded peers. Bands such as Balance and Composure, Superheaven, and Title Fight were reviving alt-rock radio for the YouTube generation and moving from being VFW staples to playing sizable venues. Post-hardcore, shoegaze, and grunge were becoming prevalent influences amongst new punk and emo bands. Newer acts were forming with a nod very much towards that ‘90s rock/emo crossover sound that Colourmeinkindess had captured so astonishingly well.
With Colourmeinkindess Basement had begun to signal a sea change that would shape the next decade of big-room guitar music in a major way. Now the album’s 10th anniversary expanded reissue offers a chance to rediscover the record along with new material. The release includes alternate versions and stripped-back arrangements of many of the album’s tracks, recalling the iconic MTV Unplugged’s from the likes of Oasis or Nirvana. It’s an alternative view of the same era Colourmeinkindness drew from, and one that provides new tonal perspective and insight into a defining moment for Basement and the path they would unexpectedly send a subgenre on over the following 10 years.