LEMURIA: Recreational Hate: LP/CD

Mar 20, 2018

Listening to a new Lemuria album is one of my favorite musical experiences. I know how the band play and sound but it’s not possible to second guess what I’ll hear on the first run through of any release. The album opens with the subtle “Timber Together”—primarily a vehicle for Sheena Ozzella’s vocals and guitar with a subdued bass in support—is a beautifully low-key beginning. The more standard upbeat indie pop sound is restored with “Sliver of Change” and “Christine,” the latter a reworking of the track featured on the Turnstyle Comix #3 EP. These two tracks reflect the essence of what makes Lemuria such a great band as the vocals of Ozzella and drummer Alex Kearns deliver some gorgeous melodies, be it as a pair or on their own. Whilst Max Gregor lets his bass weave magic throughout, Kearns’ drumming is sublime. He creates more than just a beat to keep things in line, adding so much depth to the compositions. However, nothing beats Ozzella’s guitar playing which is warm and spiky with enough of a discordant edge to add a counterpoint to the melodicism. There are no downsides here and Recreational Hate does seem to be packing a more rounded, fuller sound with a more varied musical oeuvre than previous albums. The biggest surprise is the heavy country influence on “I Wanted to Be Yours,” right down to the inclusion of a pedal steel guitar, which helps create a truly beautiful song. Lemuria rules. –Rich Cocksedge (Big Scary Monsters, [email protected], bsmrocks.com / Asian Man, [email protected], asianmanrecords.com)