Just before a lineup change as drummer Trevor Joellenbeck joined The Bascinets, the Columbus indie-rock four-piece recorded a new jangle-pop EP, titled 378 Vol. 1. Dropped in July, the five-track record fits perfectly with both its summer release and these rainy almost-fall days; the bright guitar melodies are just sunny enough to blow away the fog.
The EP dropped in July of this year, and The Bascinets have been busy ever since, playing shows and anticipating the alleged release of 378 Vol. 2 later this fall.
The opening track, “Jangle Bee”, is the standout; its black-coffee vocals and love-letter lyrics are highlighted as The Bascinets’ vocalist Nick Wellman begs, “Can I see things the way you do? / Because I love you.” Huygen’s low voice contrasts pleasantly with the surf-pop instrumental, blending to create a sweet love song. “Whatever Happened” follows with a similar MO – its jangly licks and too-cool-for-this attitude are effortlessly smooth as Wellman switches personas throughout, from Clark to Lois to Harold, each proclaiming that they “don’t want to hurt you.”
The third track is where things get a little slower: “Upside Down” is more intricate, with threads of guitar and bass woven together in a delicate tapestry of Jack-Johnson-esque indie music. It’s pretty and well-blended, and the parallel lyrics share a twinge of heartbreak (“Stay with me/That’s all I really want now” and, later, “Stay with me/If that’s what you really want now”).
“Quiet Kills” has more energy as previous drummer Liam Bailey shows off his percussive ability, and the signature indie-rock speak-singing vocals shine. The ache is tangible as the band’s other vocalist, Tristan Huygen, croons, “‘I love you, but it’s hard sometimes’/Were those your words or mine?” Finally, the EP closes with “Country”, a similarly driven track that feels darker than the rest. There is no bright instrumental; instead, everything is low and just a little bit gritty.
378 Vol. 1 puts a jangly twist on the typical Columbus genre of indie rock. It’s upbeat at times and dark at others, but the one thread running throughout is the well-blended, catchy melodies. If this EP is any indication, The Bascinets are set for another strong release with Vol. 2.