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First Collection

September 23rd, 2008 · post by Edd · Make a comment

This collection shouldn’t be nearly as wonderful as it is. In fact it may just be the best album I’ve heard in the past six months. From Buffalo, New York, this trio have been together since 2004, releasing a series of splits along the way with the likes of The Ergs, Kind of Like Spitting and Frame. This collection brings us up to date with most of their music till 2007 (though is missing the beautiful songs off The Ergs split). Being honest though if I hadn’t known this was a series of early releases I wouldn’t have guessed, the songs work together and flow into one another – both lyrically and musically – almost perfectly.

The opening song ‘Hours’ leads us faultlessly into the world of Lemuria, a keen off-angle drum and jangling guitar make way for lyrics about the early phases of a relationship where its impossibly painful to get up out of bed and leave the other partner lying there. Its a beautifully understood moment, and Lemuria run through it in just over a minute evoking the anguish of the speed that these early moments steam past.

Lemuria illustrationIllustration by Pete Willis

The collection moves quickly on, through ‘Lick Your Lips’ about openness and secrecy in lyrics; and ‘Bugbear’ a song on the removal of an individuals metaphorical siamese twin, and what happens to that other part of the personality when it’s removed.

The surprise hit for me was ‘Bristles and Whiskers’, the sixth track. A subtle sleeping beast of a song that I took to be about familial repression, and the homophobia inherent in marriage and religion. It has possibly the best lyrics I’ve ever heard, purely for their visceral horror juxtaposed by Sheena Ozzella’s melodic voice: “They don’t make love they fuck / and he assumes that’s enough”.

The rest of the collection is full of other songs about sexuality, relationship angst and adult trepidition. Musically the songs are rooted in the 90s indie-pop era of Jawbox or Jawbreaker if that’s at all relevant. I’m not sure it is, these guys just write wonderful songs that are underpinned by Sheena’s harmonies, and Alex’s laconic vocals. Simply put, its wonderful. (edd)

Yo-Yo Records –

Lemuria have their debut album, Get Better, out now on Asian Man Records

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