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Get Better

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Album Review

After a few years' worth of EPs and singles (ably gathered on the decks-clearing The First Collection in 2007), Lemuria finally make their full-length bow with the self-assured and often marvelous Get Better. A poppy indie rock trio from Buffalo, NY with vocals split about 70/30 between guitarist Sheena Ozzella and drummer Alexander Kerns (the songwriting, interestingly, is in the same proportion, but flipped), Lemuria are in some ways a stylistic throwback to the glory days of '90s indie rock. Comparisons to Superchunk, Beat Happening (Kerns has kind of a Calvin Johnson thing going in his deep, affectless vocal style), and Juliana Hatfield's original group the Blake Babies are immediately apparent in Get Better's blend of smart, real-life lyrics ("You use your lipstick as an excuse not to kiss me"), subtly deployed pop hooks, and layered distortion. Drop-dead cool without the ostentatious nihilism that weakens so many similar records, Get Better is the exact opposite of the tortured self-absorption of emo. For example, "Wardrobe" is perhaps the first indie rock song about that bastion of the subculture, the thrift store, and it's almost certainly the first one to ponder the connections between the people who donated the goods and those who plunder them to create their own style, creating a persona "like a thrifty book whose previous owner highlighted the parts they liked the most." Again and again, that concept of community, or of a spark of shared connection between two people, reverberates through Get Better. Optimistic and positive without being "posi," to use one of the more irritating emo buzzwords, Get Better strikes a subtle but important sense between band and listener that perhaps we are indeed all in this together. That it's also a great, catchy album filled with memorable, tuneful pop songs at times almost seems like lagniappe.

Customer Reviews

I'm addicted to this album!

It's a pure indie punk fusion with lyrics that just melt on your ears

Biography

Formed: 2004 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Sheena Ozzella and Alex Kerns had already known each other for several years (including a spell where they were a couple) before forming Lemuria during the fall of 2004 in Buffalo, New York. The two looked to bands like the Lemonheads, Superchunk, Jawbreaker, and Hüsker Dü for influence in crafting their own punky, melodic indie rock. With Ozzella on guitar, Kerns on drums, and Adam Vernick on bass -- all three shared vocal duties, though Ozzella took the lead on most songs -- Lemuria got busy recording...
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Get Better, Lemuria
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