EP Review – 378 Vol.1 by The Bascinets (2018)(Self Released)
The Bascinets first aroused my interest at the turn of 2018 when one of the followers at the @janglepophub Twitter site posted the sublime track Some Time on My Own from their debut 2017 album release, Always Want To Be Your Friend. This track had just been announced by some fancy application that my wife added to the media player, as the one that I have listened to the most in the last 365 days.
This track was the most traditionally jangle-pop nuanced of their debut album and fluttered and crooned about between the gaps that are left between the old style 90’s power-pop stylistics of a band such as Teenage Fanclub and the more ornamental production of Pale Fountains / Steve Wynn sophisti-pop. Immediately the follow button was pressed on Bandcamp in the hope that their obvious potential would be realized.
Just over a year later and the energy expended in that one mouse click has been rewarded a thousand times over with this new 5 track EP from the Columbus, Ohio 5 piece. This release sees the dilution of the often glorious translucent guitar-pop aesthetic of the debut replaces it with a core essence that represents some of foremost jangle-pop heard in 2018 so far.
This jangle-pop is presented n two primary stylistics. Initially the best tracks on the release tend to transpose the core jangle-pop melodies into a mock rock intensity that the unorthodox song structures of bands such as The Violent Femmes or Meat Puppets gave to those prepared to listen in the mid 1980’s.
Thankfully the melodies are too rich, warm and dominant to become engulfed in the same sort of weirdness as these bands, but their is still that sort of essence which hints that this band could easily adopt such a direction in future. In short, tracks such as Jangle Bee and Country (see below) develop with an incremental weirdness that hints at some brilliant future ‘strange’ from the band, whilst simultaneously reveling in a hugely compelling present.
Essentially there is a lot to be unpacked in this EP despite the brevity. The second stylistic wraps the constant and predominant jangled guitar riffs around a strange but ultimately beguiling indie-pop mixture.
Tracks such as Quiet Kills and Whatever Happened? (see below) juxtapose that feeling of the casual almost improvised musical tempo of Nap Eyes / Summerooms type acts to a vocal delivery that is ‘not quite’ spoken word, in the ultimately cool and strangely officious manner of Lou Reed. It is a world of difference from the ‘rock weirdness’ of the other tracks, but the EP avoids obvious fragmentation due to the constant beautiful infusion of the jangled guitar work.
Whilst there are still a few months left of 2018, I really doubt that there are many releases still to come that will have me clicking the Bandcamp follow button with quite such fervency. This band could go anywhere they want…and I really hope they do !!!