The British band Basement believes in the power of a saturated guitar tone and steady, insistent eighth notes. The band sounds like an heir to the Foo Fighters and Jimmy Eats World, with melodic vocal lines draped over muscular and driving backing. The sound of guitar chords can take on an ambiguous color and quality when played with such biting distortion.
The band’s third record, “Promise Everything,” was released in 2016 and served as a strange sort of comeback album for the group, which had gone on a short hiatus in 2012. Further complicating matters, one of the band members was living in the U.S., so that made practicing new material a little bit of a challenge.
Occasionally Basement mixes up the dynamics and tempos, like on “Oversized,” with its ringing clear guitar tones and slowed-down pace. Emo and grunge dance together on songs like “Blinded Eye,” with its Pixies-ish quiet-loud sections and brittle guitar lines set up against chunking textures. The title track off of “Promise Everything” sounds almost blatantly indebted to Nirvana, complete with frayed vocal cords, leaden bass lines, pounding drums and abrupt stops to pump up the tension-and-release.
Basement plays Toad’s Place, 300 York St., New Haven, on Tuesday, May 22, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. toadsplace.com, 203-624-8623