Review: Basement Revolver, “Heavy Eyes”

Basement Revolver - Heavy Eyes

Grungy, fuzzed-out guitars and breathy, reverb heavy vocals make it easy to compare Basement Revolver to Alvvays and Snail Mail.  There’s no reason “Heavy Eyes” shouldn’t garner similar praise and accolades to these recent critic darlings.

That being said, do not mistake this record to sound like a formulaic replica, far from it.  As much as Basement Revolver remind me of contemporary dream-pop, Chrisy Hurn has a beautiful forlornness in her voice and which reminds me of the best songs from 90’s stars like The Cardigans, Juliana Hatfield, and Lush.

These songs are fully developed.  Adam Bentley and Jordan Mitchell from TAPE Studio did a masterful job capturing the thirteen emotional songs and letting the guitar feedback breathe. “Friends” starts with a guitar melody similar to a late 1950’s pop tune but, quickly changes its tune and is a perfect example of how to utilize harmonic dissonance for full emotional impact.

Later, Hurn’s voice and guitar are put into sole focus with the stripped down track “Knocking.” A sorrowful, yet comfortable cuddle of a song.

Another rocking tune, “Tree Trunks” has such amazing guitar tones, it’s like melted butter that suddenly explodes into your face.  And then… This is followed by the heaviest track, appropriately titled “Heavy Eyes.”  Ooh. Wow.  This song is brilliant.  Explosive. Swirling. Thunderous. Pulsating.  A rush of hot blood flowed through my entire body when I first heard this song kick into gear.

In the span of approximately 40 minutes, I’ve gone from really liking this band… to LOVING them.   Please, stop what you’re doing and go listen to this record. If you can, put on a good set of headphones. Like all great albums, there’s more to appreciate the closer you listen.

You can catch Basement Revolver touring southern Ontario in September.  You’ll be certain to find me in the audience, looking to buy a pink vinyl copy when they play at Call The Office in my hometown.

A bit of a Renaissance man, Steve Murphy is a singer-songwriter, author, and journalist based out of London, Ontario. An avid vinyl collector and audiophile, his personal collection of albums is wide ranging and in the thousands, including four released from his band Westminster Park.

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