In the four years between their last album and now, Buffalo, NY’s Lemuria have been holed up with producer Chris Shaw (Bob Dylan, Weezer), crafting ‘Recreational Hate’, one of the most diverse and intriguing indie/punk releases in recent memory.
The album starts on a soft note, with light guitar work cushioning the delicate vocals of Sheena Ozzella on ‘Timber Together’. The effect is enchanting, causing the listener to lean in, desperate for more. This is followed by ‘Sliver of Change’, which incorporates some country influences while still managing to balance the soft vocal performance throughout the verses, and bringing in a slightly more upbeat chorus.
This is just a taste of the diversity present on ‘Recreational Hate’, however. As the album progresses, Lemuria take a bite of almost every apple on the musical tree; the Latin nuances present on ‘Wanted to Be Yours’, the coffee shop sound on ‘Lake Below’, and even the notes of late 90s emo on ‘Trembling’.
Perhaps the album’s only detractor, is that it might be too relaxed. It’s easy to let the mind wander during its running time, drifting off into a kind of dream state, brought back to reality by only the occasional sense of urgency every few songs. While the record is expansive in it’s sound, it’s definitely one the listener has to be in the mood for, and that mood seems to be one of tiredness.
Still, in demolishing the shackles that the concept of genre can so easily lock an artist in to, Lemuria have shaped an album that can only be described as timeless. There is no doubt that it could be revisited in ten, twenty, or even fifty years and still sound fresh and imaginative. Truly, an album to be experienced by all.
‘Recreational Hate’ by Lemuria is out now on Turbo Worldwide/Big Scary Monsters Records/Asian Man Records.
Words by Ben Mills(@BenMills28)