Lemuria - The Distance Is So Big

by Greg Spencer Rating:8 Release Date:2013-06-17

With Lemuria's third full-length album comes blinding punk guitar riffs, intertwined vocals and a real sense of vigour, but is there really anything more than that lingering beneath the pop-punk-post-hardcore surface? The Distance is So Big begins in a somewhat lethargic fashion. Opening track 'Brilliant Dancer' is intriguing and glides along eloquently. It isn't what you'd call a barnstorming song which blows you away, but what it does offer up is a snapshot of what this band are all about, and that's merging genres and dismantling preconceptions.

All the way through the album, it remains difficult to pigeon-hole Lemuria in a genre. Soon you realise that it's best to just go with it and enjoy the music as something without a label. The vocals on this album are from Sheena Ozzella and drummer Alex Kerns, and we hear how well they compliment each other on a track like 'Paint the Youth', where their similar styles marry perfectly together.

The band actually just have a great vibe to them. There's this feeling that the album was made with no money at all (which may not be the case) and that a grunge, DIY ethos lives throughout the record. At times, Ozzella's vocals can sound a little too soft, too weak perhaps, but this is weirdly a positive and a negative. For the most part, her voice sounds gorgeous but on a song like 'Bluffing Statistics', where the chorus could have been rammed down our throats, her vocals just sound a little flimsy. Bizarrely, though, this imperfection serves as part of the charm of the album. It doesn't sound overproduced in any way. Quite the opposite - it sounds like it could have been recorded in a New York bedroom.

There really is more than surface here. Ozzella and Kerns' lyrics are often fun but always honest. The fuzzy guitar sound works well to create a tapestry of early adulthood, and the band have created an album full of energy and spark. Songs like 'Dream Eater' and 'Clay Baby' are as good as any garage-grunge out there right now, and the whole album ends up being a joy after a few listens.

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