I like the idea of a ‘Basement Stadium’. Although I have never heard Darrian Gerard’s music before, I have a feeling that the sound I am going to get from her brand new EP is going to both heart-on-your-sleeve and powerful at the same time– you know, ‘Basement Stadium’ ready. I am super excited to dig into this album so why am I wasting time with this intro– let’s go!
The five-song release kicks off with “Explosion” which instantly is giving me old-school Avril Lavigne vibes. It’s punky and the lyrics come with a sense of attitude and a sharp tongue while the beat keeps things infectiously poppy. There’s something so well done about this opening track that absolutely draws you in. I’ll admit, if you hate pop music, this may not be your thing which makes me surprised that I was so hooked but there’s just something a bit different about it. The composition of this opening song is a bit predictable but Darrian’s voice is just so smooth while having an undeniable sense of Riot Grrrl energy that I found myself eating this up until the end of the song.
“Powerless” is anything but powerless. I feel like this second track almost has more power than the opening track due to the intentional and steady pumping drum beat that propels this song forward. Instead of the pop influence that reigned supreme during “Explosion”, I got more of an industrial and almost electronic feeling for this song which I found to be so interesting just due to the stark difference. All of that being said, Darrian’s vocals continue to be the start throughout this track even though they bring with them a hint of darkness that I didn’t know she could do. Where as “Explosion” had a triumphant and even fun feeling to it, this song has a much darker vibe and almost comes off as having a defeated feeling to the vocals which may make you think it’s a “powerless” track but that couldn’t be further from the track. Just listen to it and you’ll get what I’m saying!
Darrian Gerard is clearly trying to give all of her sides to listeners in this quick EP. That became clear to me as “Everybody’s Mad At Me” took over my speakers. It’s a track that seems to split the difference between the first two songs of the album while bringing a more introspective and almost emo vibe to the vocals. This is a very slow moving song rhythmically but the haunting beauty in Darrian’s voice matched with the minimalistic and orchestral feeling instrumentation keeps makes the three and a half minute track fly by. I’ll be honest, this wasn’t my favorite track from ‘Basement Stadium’ but I appreciated what it brought to the table in regards to a full release. It shows an almost vulnerable side to the ‘Basement Stadium’ rocker which is downright beautiful.
Nearing the end of the release, the second to last track “Backseat Driver” seems to bring things closer to full circle with an infectious beat like that in “Explosion” but I fail to compare the two tracks too closely. There’s almost something southern country about this song that I just can’t quite put my finger on but loved. There’s almost a southern twang in Darrian’s voice for this song that felt a bit like a curveball but it worked. Even with this new twang, and a softer approach to the vocals and word choice in general, I feel like this song was a good example of ‘Basement Stadium’ sounds. There’s power behind everything happening this song while staying super accessible to everyone and without being super in your face. This song could be enjoyed at top volume or down low when trying to wind down from an insane day. Regardless, it will be all ears on this song when you play it– I promise.
I wanted ‘Basement Stadium’ to end on a super triumphant note and that’s what I got with “Old Wounds” but in a way I wasn’t quite prepared for. This final track is drenched in emotion. Although there’s emotion throughout all of Darrian’s songs, there’s just something about the way she conveys the words in this song that makes that emotion feel so much heavier than the other tracks. Even with this heaviness, there’s something playful and whimsical about this song. It makes it the perfect ending for ‘Basement Stadium’ because it winds down so beautiful but beckons you to check out some of Darrian’s other music. The power that comes from this final song is subtle but becomes loud and clear after the song ends and you are left in silence.
My Favorite Track(s): “Explosion”
For Fans Of: Triumphant Pop-Punk; Avril Lavigne; Feelings And Power
Mosh-ability: 4 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie snored from the couch; Alfie was destroying something in the basement; Autumn was sleeping upstairs
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7.4 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 8.2 out of 10
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Check Out ‘Basement Stadium’ HERE!
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