May 14, 2013

Song Review: Lemuria's "Oahu, Hawaii"

Lemuria have been traveling down the road of bouncy Superchunk-inspired pop-rock and playful melodic hardcore since their humble beginnings, and it's to their warm sound's credit that it has put them in a favorable position with both worlds of highly refined indie squanderers and punks holing out inside the basement scene. "Oahu, Hawaii," the second listen off their forthcoming effort The Distance Is So Big (due out on June 18th via Bridge Nine Records) offers up another promising glimpse into what kind of huge leaps the Buffalo trio have made in stretching out their vision of homegrown indie-punk beyond the obvious footnotes heard on 2011’s sophomore effort Pebble and the LP 3’s first listen "Brilliant Dancer." It features a new kind of duality from drumming "front"man Alex Kerns, who in the past has made a habit of shrugging through vocals with a straight-forward pattern of mopey nonchalance, pushing himself to go beyond half-assing each verse in a delightfully awkward tuneful way after the track's opening dirge before Sheena Ozzella gentle coo joins hands with him and trades spots between each word of the repetitive chorus. There's not so much a deep-digging crunch in Lemuria's riffs and rhythm section as so much as there is a watercolor of feather-light strings to fill in the areas where the oil-based hardcore hues would otherwise be brushed (nor would you expect venerable post-hardcore producer J. Robbins to make it all sound so delicate.) Altogether, "Oahu, Hawaii" is a bittersweet experience of brand new sad and happy moments from Lemuria that you can't quite see where the outlines and overlaps reside, yet they're making you feel quite cozy and comfortable even without them.

Lemuria - "Oahu, Hawaii" (via NPR)

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