If ever there was space to be filled, it would be on the Canadian plains of Saskatchewan. The Basement Paintings — hailing from Saskatoon — take their unique blend of ambient and post-metal sounds and create spacious, stretching songs that experiment with form and function.
Antipodes means “exact opposites”, and it’s this idea of duality that fuels the record. Sonically, the songs play between calming hypnotic rhythms and wild, noisy compositions.
“Instinct” kicks off the record with a resonating lift of synths and bass that pulses. It’s a sonic world familiar to fans of classic rock that takes its time (at over eight-and-a-half-minutes, time seems to be no concern for The Basement Paintings) and sprawls instrumentally out. “Koan” drones out in dripping notes that move up and down — the shortest track on the album also carries much of the weight, as though it is a fulcrum.
“Ziggurat” — though almost twelve minutes long — has an accessibility in the delicate-then-firm guide of the guitar and soft percussion. The eventual pace-shift and bounce of “Soma” propels the album towards the closing titular track, which brings ideas of opposites once more to the forefront via guitar-bass cohesion and eventual severing.
Losing yourself into the sprawl of Antipodes is no challenge, and the ideas of duality that spawned the album feel present, though metaphorically more than tangibly. With this record, The Basement Paintings prove themselves a band with a strong sense of atmosphere. Time will tell us how far this takes them.