Lemuria – The Distance Is So Big (Bridge9 Records)
CD / DL / LP
Louder Than War checks out the 3rd release from Lemuria, a trio from Buffalo, NY, which brings forth more of their trademark melodic punk intertwined with C86 indie guitar pop.
From the opening twangy reverb encased chords to the final cord, this album is a complete set of tightly wound songs with the guitarist and drummer, respectively Sheena Ozzella and Alex Kearns, each contributing vocals as they sweetly alternate lead vocals and harmonies throughout.
Recorded at J. Robbins Magpie Cage Studios, it has a crispness of production that compliments their sound – pretty much as we have come to expect from the producer who has landmark albums of the genre under his belt by the likes of Texas Is The Reason, Braid and Walter Schriefels, not to mention a whole discography of his own as frontman of Jawbox amongst many others.
It tickles me, but also pleases me, that Lemuria are signed to Bridge Nine records, home of numerous heavy hardcore and straight edge bands such as Agnostic Front, Slapshot and Ceremony. Probably a few lads in backward baseball caps and muscle vests might be thrown by this release, but hopefully they’ll have their minds expanded a little bit too.
The Lemuria sound has its roots in the earnest emo punk of the likes of Jawbreaker but mixed with a definite guitar pop sound that the Americans took from the C86 crop of bands in the UK. Over the water the C86 sound translated into early 90s bands like Velocity Girl, Beat Happening and Belly; as well as, of course, Superchunk. Ocasionally there are moments when it feels a little lacklustre in places and you’re willing them on to up the ante in terms of either passion, energy or impact. That said, stand out track ‘Paint The Youth’ is one such moment that does catch a wave of honest passion with its memorable refrain of “It’s never too late to be what you might have been”
Lemuria begin a UK tour on July 21st and I will be looking forward to seeing how the hooks and storming harmonies translate into the live arena and whether they can just up that ante a tad to make them a really stand out band.
21st July Tramlines Festival, Sheffield
22nd July The Black Heart, London
23rd July The Marquee, Norwich
24th July Minsters Bar, Stoke On Trent
25th July The Cockpit, Leeds
26th July Fighting Cocks, Kingston
27th July The Cavern, Exeter
28th July Burnout Festival, Bournemouth
29th July Exchange, Bristol
30th July The Old Angel, Nottingham
31st July The Globe, Cardiff
1st August White Rabbit, Plymouth
2nd August Classic Grand, Glasgow (w/ Texas Is The Reason)
All words by Peter Campbell. You can find more of Peter’s writing on Louder Than War at his author’s archive.