Lemuria – Get Better
Asian Man Records, 2007
Acquired: Mississippi Records, Used, 2013
Another rock solid find from Mississippi Records (have I mentioned that if you’re ever in Portland DEAR SWEET JESUS GO TO THAT RECORD STORE ALL OF THE HYPE IS TRUE!!!!!!!). Everything’s coming up Lemuria, apparently, because I now own all of their albums on Vinyl after falling in love with the band just a few months ago. Excluding their split with Kind of Like Spitting, Get Better is Lemuria’s first proper LP and it’s fucking wonderful. It’s more raw than Pebble or The Distance is So Big, but the most enchanting thing about this band has been watching them (pun inititially unintended but now fully intended) get better album after album. The songs here are more fully realized than those on Your Living Room’s All Over Me and Sheena Ozzella’s vocals are less chirpy and more soulful. The vocal interplay between Ozzella and songwriter/drummer Alex Kerns clicks a lot better here than on that aforementioned split. It’s just dreamy hearing a band come into their own. The fact that it’s on Asian Man Records, a record label that dominated my punk rock years, makes me dizzy with delight. It’s a fitting label for Lemuria’s idiosyncratic brand of pop-punk. It’s barely pop-punk though. Outside of some big power chords and heartmeltingly great hooks, Lemuria have apparently been hard to pigeon hole from the outset. The songs are both blissfully poppy, sobering, inventive and almost deceptive in their emotional resonance. The way these tracks sneak up on you and stick with you is a testament to how fucking good this Buffalo, NY trio was from the start and I’m almost scared to see how good their follow up to The Distance is So Big is gonna be considering that that album is almost definitely vying for the title of my favorite album of 2013. Get Better is prophetic in every sense.