Having a rough day? So is Basement Revolver, though this Hamilton, Ontario trio chooses to express their misery with mesmerizing dreamy pop music. The sounds and stories flow freely with chiming-to-churning guitars, purposeful percussion and haunted angel vocals. Their debut EP, set for release on July 15 on fear of missing out records, comprises four songs of various moods. “Family” starts out like a slow dirge, with Chrisy Hurn’s evocative vocals, but then builds in intensity, using the loud/soft dynamic to great effect. A lost (or stolen?) love seems to be the subject of “Johnny,” as the unfortunate ex continually repeats the hypnotic phrase “It’s a really bad time right now,” though it all sounds so pretty and serene on the surface.
“Lake, Steel, Oil” also begins quietly and peacefully though somewhat melancholic, with a mildly disquieting presence that bubbles up from underneath, slowly building to its epic crescendo (“These days are numbered, so don’t waste them on slumber”). Stunning.
“Words” is also steeped in sadness, though these disturbing thoughts are conveyed with a voice like a clear waterfall over glistening boulders. As Hurn describes it, the song came to her while she was finishing her final university semester. She had begun to feel disillusioned with the daily slog from home to school, all the papers she had written and her honors psychology thesis. “It all began to feel meaningless,” explains Hurn. “No matter what I said, in the end, words are just words, they can be stringed together to form something powerful but without context they become as mundane and incontrollable as one’s commute to and from school. Similarly, a paper is just a paper, a degree is just a degree, and there is so much more to life than the plans and the empires that we build for ourselves.”
Basement Revolver, a pretty yet powerful trio of accomplished musicians, is Chrisy Hurn (guitar and vocals), Nimal Agalwatte (bass and synth) and Brandon Munro (drums). It’s a considerable amount of fury, social observation and musical sophistication for a band just starting out. Definitely one to keep an eye on. Their debut was recorded at TAPE Studios — engineered, produced and mixed by Adam Bentley & Jordan Mitchell and mastered by Warren Hildebrand (Orchid Tapes).
If you like what you hear, the limited edition cassette-only EP can be preordered from Big Cartel. You can also preorder it digitally from iTunes. If you’re in the Ontario region of Canada, they’ll be performing through the summer. See dates below. And tell them to cheer up! (just kidding).
7/14 – Montreal, QC – BAD LUNCH
7/15 – Ottawa, ON – Black Squirrel Books & CafÃ©
7/16 – Hamilton, ON – (RELEASE SHOW) The Casbah
7/20 – London, ON – Call The Office
8/7 – Hamilton, ON – Seven Sundays in Gage Park
8/18 – Kingston, ON – The Mansion Kingston #
8/19 – Peterborough, ON – TBA #
8/20 – Sudbury, ON – The Townhouse Tavern #
& – Tearjerker
# – The Almighty Rhombus
% – Grey\\Water
* – Dan Edmonds