…THE END IS NEAR
Another weekend coming up and the end of the year is upon us in just a couple of weeks! My hopes are high, but my feelings are low about the deregulation of #NetNeutrality. My own assumptions are that, so many lives will be changed by this. Unfortunately, there are those that either don’t care or have heads so deeply buried in the ground they have no idea about the implications. It’s a scary thought but let’s see what happens.
I’m looking forward to the new year because there’s so much going on that I’ve already become aware of. I won’t spoil it for anyone but yeah, culturally, lots of new things I’ve become excited about, and even all the negative information spewed through the internets is something that I’m interested in watching the fallout. We’ll see what happens with it all. Anyone that knows me understands my love of Hip-Hop has always been offset by my devotion to Indie Rock. Those two genres bookend my collection of music. So when I don’t have one to fill the void of new music, I have the other. Either I’m digressing or don’t even have a point here, but let’s begin this…
Coming as a surprise, and what seems like a last minute release, Recreational Hate (Turbo Worldwide) dropped today by Lemuria. It’s no wonder they refer to it as their “secret LP.” The 3-pronged rock band from Buffalo, New York comprised of Alex Kerns (Vocals and Drums), Sheena Ozzella (Vocals and Guitar), and Max Gregor (Bass), dropped this album of 10 songs that run the gamut of softly playing without percussion to simply rocking the hinges off doors. But they’ll take those doors off with a bag full of tools to make sure it can be reassembled later. I’ll explain. While yes, Lemuria has been known to play with varying dynamics from song to song, they do it with delicate hands and concise precision. The band opens Recreational Hate with “Timber Together” with vocalist/guitarist Sheena Ozzella taking centre stage with her vocals over more subdued guitars and bass. The background vocals give it a great pop inflexion there capitalizing on her lead. Now when I mentioned previously about the band utilizing a tool bag for reassembling, “Sliver Of Change” gives me a good example to reflect on. The band’s dynamics here slowly crescendo into an explosiveness that’ll make even the oldest pop-punk enthusiast pogo in place, but everything’s done with such control, Lemuria’s hold of the reigns is pretty astounding. They do the same from song-to-song and don’t let up, which is a great thing. The band has come incredibly into its own, showcasing amazing pop sensibilities on “Christine Perfect” and when Sheena belts out “I’m not a Stevie/I’m a Christine McVie” over that driving beat you get the feeling her ideal world circles about making amazing music rather than becoming a huge star. But Kerns shares duties here while pummelling along to “More Tunnel,” and when he sings “I wanna be somebody/ I wanna be somebody else/The closer I get the less I see” you feel how your own life shouldn’t be trivialized. Am I making too much out of it? Probably, but the subdued harmonies will haunt your dreams after a while.
I’ve been searching for one word that would fit this trio and the one that comes to mind after “Wanted To Be Yours” is pristine! Trumpets? Really? If I thought things couldn’t get any better, they just did with this track which I keep repeating over and over. Honestly, the first few listens of Recreational Hate were played as background noise while I worked. I do this sometimes to see if something catches my attention. Probably a mistake on my end because this record completely fucked my world. Semblances of Americana/Country filter through it on “Kicking In” with that slide perfectly placed while the more subdued “Lake Below” has dissonance in the background which makes way to lovely piano. But it’s on “Trembling” where Kerns’ grabs that microphone and sweetly sings pulling listeners in, or at least I am, while the band gently plays along. There’s a reason why this group remains a favorite of many, both young and not-so-young. They cleverly piece together their music and are precise in what they’re doing. Nothing is unhinged once they’re done, and that’s pretty fucking bad ass.