Lemuria - Get Better
Record Label: Asian Man Records
Release Date: February 26, 2008
Alt-pop trio Lemuria from Buffalo, New York show catchy pop hooks equal to Feist and whiplashing rock comparable to Canada’s Land of Talk on the band’s latest CD Get Better. Formed in 2004, Lemuria have released their first full-length album entitled Get Better after having put out tracks on a split CD with the group Kind of Like Spitting in 2006. The disc ignited people’s interest in Lemuria’s music and AbsolutePunk.net’s Russ Hockenbury said about Lemuria, "You can't help but smile listening to Lemuria. The Buffalo three-piece are just a lot of fun." Oddly, Get Better does not have the same promise. Many of the tracks fall flat as if Lemuria put them together quickly without paying much attention to their details. The songs are generally good but none of them are memorable for the listener.
Lead singer Sheena Ozzella has the gentle voicing of Land of Talk’s Elizabeth Powell but unlike Powell who also plays the guitar, Ozzella’s guitar playing has few sparks and maintains a lukewarm pace relatable to The Clientele. When Ozzella and bass guitarist Jason Draper and drummer/vocalist Alex Kerns set their minds on a pop punk momentum like in the track "Mechanical," the music comes to life. Unfortunately, "Mechanical" is a one-of-a-kind tune on Get Better and most of the other tracks have the alt-pop anchorage and mundane street-performing barbershop of bands like The National and The Clientele. Kerns sings lead on some tracks like "Yesterday’s Lincoln" and "Wardrobe," exhibiting a register reflective of John Vanderslice. There is something about Lemuria's music that is reminiscent of music played in salon/barber shops, which reinforces the band's alt-pop dichotomy. The band's whiplashing rock jams shown on "Get Some Sleep" and "Fingers" have a comfy jolt in the rhythmic grooves, but for the most part their lathers are lukewarm and would be attractive to a general crowd.
Get Better may disappoint some fans who anticipated so much more from a band that showed great promise on the split CD with Kind of Like Spitting. Still, the album has tracks that can be played any place where Feist's music is heard like banks, shopping malls, salons, etc. so it’s not completely a let down. The music is generally good, but probably only good for its time, which could be why so many critics compare Lemuria to Superchunk, a band whose music in the '90s defined those times but whose songs are hardly ever heard today. That's the path which Lemuria's music fits.
"many critics compare Lemuria to Superchunk, a band whose music in the '90s defined those times but whose songs are hardly ever heard today. That's the path which Lemuria's music fits." Ouch, kinda..but I kind of have to agree with that. I do however think that "Pants" is a song which sticks in people's heads.
And I enjoyed this more than the split, the songs here are poppier, are better produced....