Categorizing musical style often acts as a shortcut. It allows us to quickly find what we think we’ll like and while defining a band by genre can be a positive for attracting new listeners, these barriers can also be limiting and may hinder our discovery of music that may inspire, embolden and provoke us. Sometimes categories need to be broken and those limiting genre demarcations need to be shattered so that new musical expressions can emerge without limits. North Carolina’s BASK is one of those special acts that transcend through even the most detailed categorizations in order to genuinely break new ground and take the listener on a journey of musical discovery that is acutely novel yet also warmly familiar.
Hailing from Carolina’s storied Blue Ridge Mountains, BASK was fully conceived in the fall of 2013 when guitarist Ray Worth, drummer Scott Middleton, bassist Jesse Van Note, and guitarist/vocalist Zeb Camp came together to produce sounds that were properly reflective of the lush yet rugged Appalachian habitat. The band’s newest record, ‘III,’ showcases a soulful juxtaposition of Americana rock ‘n’ roll with progressive and psychedelic elements, separating BASK from your average rock band from the South.
Since forming in 2013, BASK has released two formidable and critically acclaimed full lengths: “American Hollow” (2014) and “Ramble Beyond” (2017). The band has toured North America and Europe with the grammy award-winning HIGH ON FIRE and WEEDEATER, as well as other contemporary genre-challenging acts like PALLBEARER, KAYO DOT, ROYAL THUNDER and BLACK TUSK. The Carolinians have also successfully shared bills with a range of diverse artists, from GUIDED BY VOICES to CARCASS and even REFUSED. They’ve been featured on festivals such as Desert Fest Berlin and London, New England’s RPM Fest, Speedfest in the Netherlands, and Heavy Mountain in Asheville, NC.
Each song on ‘III’ is inspired by legend, folklore, or mythology, reexamining characters and situations that are often misunderstood, overlooked or requiring deeper introspection. “III” fervently embraces the natural world, the cyclical nature of our human experience, and grapples with the some of the hardships of those events and happenings that make us who we really are.
BASK’s sound has been described as progressive and cinematic, containing glimpses of their native region’s unique tonality and heartfelt heaviness; something they unequivocally prove with ‘III.’ While expertly crafted songs like the incredibly catchy “New Dominion” and the rockin’ “Stone Eyed” present a heavier dynamic from the band, tracks like “Maiden Mother Crone” and “Rid of You” serve up a melancholy elegance that showcases the band’s roots, adding to the record’s vast yet cohesive dimensions. “Noble Daughters II-The Bow” combines heavy groove with accessible classic guitar rock sensibilities and dreamy sonicscapes. The diversity in the record is cognizant of the band’s wealth of influences and the songs are crafted so intriguingly that the listener is often eagerly awaiting what’s coming next.
“We just want to play heavy music from the heart.”
Scott Middleton, Bask
From the warm vocals and melodically homespun guitars of the opener “Three White Feet”, ‘III’ is sure to take the listener on an emotional journey through its many peaks and valleys. The record is something you just must hear for yourself to truly grasp both the depths and practicable complexities of BASK. This is Americana. This is soul. And you simply haven’t heard this before.
Jesse Van Note – bass
Scott Middleton – drums
Ray Worth – guitar
Zeb Camp – guitar/vocalsGuest Musicians:
Jed Willis – Pedal Steel on “Maiden Mother Crone”
Meg Mulhearn – Violin on “Maiden Mother Crone”
Recording and Mixing: Matt Bayles @ Echo Mountain Studio (Asheville, NC)
Mastering: Brad Boatright @ Audio Siege
Cover Art: Adam Burke
Photo Credits: Jameykay & Arlie
Bio: Jeff Podoshen
Genre: Psychedelic rockAvailable Formats: CD digipak, Vinyl (Coloured and Black)
For more on BASK, visit their official FACEBOOK, BANDCAMP, TWITTER, WEBSITE, and INSTAGRAM.