Lemuria are a fun little 3 piece band out of New York. Previously releasing music through Art of The Underground, No Idea Records and Asian Man Records, they settled in to Bridge 9, a dominant label in the hardcore punk scene to put out their second album Pebbles. After touring half of the world, they went back into the studio to record The Distance Is So Big.
Destroying the veil of ‘pop punk’ they have somehow been labelled with, Sheena and Alex’s vocals bounce off the energetic drumming and crunchy guitar riffs to create something truly different. “Brilliant Dancer” is a great example of this, interchanging through drum patterns and chord progressions from hard and down tempo, to upbeat and fun, stopping and beginning another idea from silence.
Stylistically, while it can all fit in to the category of Indie/Alt. Rock if it had to, every song brings something different to the table. “Scienceless” makes me think of a slightly more experimental version of one of the lesser teenage angst filled songs from Tegan and Sara’s The Con and Dream Eater reminds me of the soundtracks from those 90’s romantic comedies where a bunch of teenagers are driving down an American highway and a blonde girl in a bikini wearing a straw hat cheerfully squeals out of the top of a black convertible. Every song on this album is simply ‘fun’, whether it’s upbeat and cheery or reminds you of another time in your life, I can’t help but feel like I should stop listening to it instantly and save it for summer.
The most appealing aspect to me, however, is the little technicalities. Love it or hate it, the way the music has been written is outstanding. Its little things like the intro to “Bluffing Statistic”s and “Paint The Youth” that provide an idea for a few seconds that you won’t hear again. The extended riffs or drum fills thrown in here and there do wonders as well, especially in “Clay Baby” when the last vocal note of the chorus is dragged out to add what I feel is a sense of urgency before the last resolve.
While I feel I’ve been a little gushy on this album, I do feel however, that Alex should lay off the vocal duties a little, unless he’s backing Sheena. His voice isn’t terrible by any definition, but I feel that while it does work every now and then, particularly on “Survivors’ Guilt”, it simply can’t compete with Sheena’s strength and in a way, detracts from the feel of the song. That said, the way their voices work together is nothing short of beautiful.
Release of the year? No, probably not. But I know there are many people out there who have been waiting for this LP to come out, and long story short, this will not disappoint.