Lemuria – Pebble
Bridge Nine, 2011
Acquired: Lemuria Mail Order, New, 2013
Though Lemuria’s latest—2013’s The Distance is So Big—is the finest, most perfect distillation of what this Buffalo trio is capable of accomplishing (so far), Pebble was my first love. It’s a good thing, too, because one of my favorite things about Distance was admiring the band’s growth between albums. There’s a nice contrast, and that absolutely does not mean that Pebble is a substandard record. It’s fucking fantastic! It’s just not as cohesive a record. That said, the songs on their own are perfect little gems that glisten with punk rock energy and an incredibly smart knack for playing around with song structures and melodies and utilizing these tools to give each song its own flavor. There’s the big, poppy-punk bliss of the soulful second track “Wise People” and the energetic burst of “Pleaser.” “Ribcage” has this sweetness woven into it by Sheena Ozzella’s gorgeous vocals and Alex Kerns’ plainspoken vocals not only provide a fine counterbalance to Ozzellas, but give the heartbreaking tale of sexual abuse on “Bloomer” its gravitas. Like its follow-up, Pebble is infinitely listenable and even after non-stop listening last spring; it is a pleasure to spin this on some random morning before work. I can’t say enough nice things about Lemuria. They were my favorite discovery of 2013 and I can’t wait to see what comes next.