Release Date: Jun 18, 2013
Record label: Bridge Nine Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Punk-Pop
As a total latecomer to Lemuria–with my first experience being a live show last year when I was curious to hear what this band was all about–I was caught off-guard and unexpectedly blown away by what the trio delivered that night. Lemuria also shot holes through my expectations of them being a purely pop-punk band. Following that show I bought the band's second album Pebble which has grown into a favourite and my go-to choice when in the car.Almost twelve months on from that epiphany and Lemuria are now releasing their third album The Distance Is So Big, an album on par with its predecessor but at times, exceeding it.
Lemuria, a hypothetical lost land, has since been rendered obsolete as a theory. As a continent, it’s now written about mainly by fans of the occult and largely ignored by popular culture. Considering the tongue-in-cheek, pause and then thrash nature of Lemuria’s third full-length, The Distance Is So Big you’d have to think that this Buffalo-bred three piece has now fully realized their sound, occupying a place between fact and fiction, widescale success and cult-like fame among those who revel in the artists that often go overlooked.
The Distance Is So Big, the third long-player from Buffalo, New York-based indie rockers Lemuria is so steeped in the D.I.Y. fuzz rock of the early 1990s that it may as well come with a juice box, a bucket hat, and a Hacky Sack, but what it lacks in contemporary vision it certainly makes up for in sheer enjoyment. The 46-second opener, "Michael and Stephen Moon," offers up a swelling, a capella red herring before launching into the infectious "Brilliant Dancer," a blissed out, bookish, noise-pop confection that marries the decidedly plain boy/girl interchange of Yo La Tengo with the sneaky, punk-kissed melodies of Jawbreaker.
Whether it’s uppers or antidepressants, it seems that something has lifted the spirits of Lemuria in the two-year interlude since their last full length. Things aren’t always rosier or quick-tempoed on The Distance Is So Big, but on their third LP, the Buffalo-based trio seems content to cling to one of those poles. After getting the forboding haze of voices on “Michael and Stephen Moon” out of the way, Sheena Ozzella and Alex Kearns (who handle guitar and drums respectively, each contributing vocals) settle into the well-worn Lay-Z-Boy of “Brilliant Dancer.
Although the legend of the lost continent Lemuria has been determined scientifically defunct, punk trio Lemuria continues to persevere on its third full-length album, The Distance Is So Big. Released via hardcore-rooted label Bridge Nine (F-Minus, Agnostic Front), this effort is not the typical Bridge Nine release, nor is Lemuria the label’s most typical act. Hailing from Buffalo, these indie popsters are sugary sweet, but also occasionally literary and a little intense—they pack a honeyed punch with each thoughtfully intonated verse.
The Distance is So Big, the latest album from Buffalo’s Lemuria, could well have soundtracked many a drive through central New Jersey in my teenage years. Musically, the first few reference points that come to mind are more than a decade old: Think of the refinement of post-hardcore exemplified by Pretty Girls Make Graves and later-period Q And Not U. Vocalist Sheena Ozzela has an expressive range that puts her somewhere between Velocity Girl’s Sarah Shannon and Meghan Ball of Copper and Idle Hands.
Lemuria are a band often lumped in the ‘punk’ bracket. Their tireless DIY touring schedule and penchant for sweat drenched live shows in basements and bedrooms has left them loved by fans who might traditionally like their music with more of a buzzsaw feel and killer instinct. But in truth their sweet and sugary indie is the sort that can and should be being enjoyed by a broader audience than the Buffalo trio have thus far been able to reach.All this could be set to change though with the release of their new LP ‘The Distance Is So Big’ which brings together everything the band have done previously and refines the formula to the point of near perfection.
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.
Lemuria The Distance Is So Big (Bridge 9) Lemuria refuses to settle for the easy hook. The Buffalo trio produces slacker-lilted jams on command, yet across this third LP, they disrupt and overturn tunes into jittery, unnerved digressions intended to unhinge an apathetic audience. The sputtering "Brilliant Dancer" charms behind Sheena Ozzella's tweaking vocals only to erupt into a flurry of unexpected rhythms that manages to hold together nonetheless, while "Clay Baby" spins on Alex Kerns' almost Malkmus-ian vocals and lyrics further conjuring the Nineties indie ethos.