Published Jul 13, 2016Hamilton trio Basement Revolver's first release delivers angst that befits the post-industrial rust belt malaise of their hometown, and they do it compellingly — even if the record is a little one-note.
The group's sound is most thoroughly laid out on "Family," as wistful guitars transform into an all-consuming slice of noise-rock not dissimilar to Japandroids, but minus the vocals. Frontwoman Chrisy Hurn cuts through and soars over the noise with her bell-like vocals, and her polished pipes help Basement Revolver steer clear of clichéd, husky noise-rock norms. "Johnny" is the self-titled EP's strongest point: Hurn delivers sorrowful lyrics in a devastatingly mournful way that, despite her Courtney Barnett-esque timbre, manages to be uplifting and not a drag.
"Lake Steel Oil" is the one clear weakness. While Basement Revolver deserve credit for experimenting with a lighter near-folk sound here, the track's cyclical guitar line seems hokey, the lyrics overly repetitive. While the track picks up as more guitars are layered on, this raises a red flag: maybe heavy and hazy rock with a hint of distortion is the only sound at which the trio can excel.
It's understandable that Basement Revolver would want to define their sound clearly on their first release — and they do that well here — but a spoonful of well-executed sonic variety would be a boon. (Fear of Missing Out Records)