Review: Lemuria – “Pebble”

In their first release for Bridge 9 Records, Lemuria takes a step forward from 2008’s Get Better to today’s release, Pebble. While the frenetic energy energy of early Lemuria tracks and the tracks from Get Better remain, the duo of Sheena Ozzella and Alex Kerns is able to temper that energy, creating more sophisticated harmonies.

The harmonies are one of the first things that jump out at the listener, especially on “Ribcage,” a slow burn of a track, timing it at 4:38. Both Ozzella and Kerns spend plenty of time on the mic together, with Kerns adding a stabilizing bass to the vocal lines.

While both have lent their vocal talents to the same songs in the past, it seems to jump out so much more now, like on “Different Girls,” where Kerns sings “Every night on tour / I sleep with different girls / And we laugh about you / While you are at home, I am the worst” before Ozzella and Kerns echo “It’s in your imagination.” Hearing both voices on the same tracks doesn’t allow the listener to get lulled to sleep by the sound of just one vocalist.

The opening to Pebble is truly great. “Gravity” starts the album, slow and with just guitar and Ozzella’s vocals. As the song moves along, the drums slowly and quietly make their presence known before a crescendo, pause and the explosive start of the second track, “Wise People,” a bass heavy track that has the ear-catching addition of chimes in the chorus.

One of my personal favorite Lemuria songs is “Get Some Sleep” off of Get Better. While none of the tracks on Pebble are just simple bursts like that, “Pleaser” clicks with me in the same fashion as “Get Some Sleep,” although “Pleaser is the second longest track on the album at 3:57. However, the hook of “I am hinting hard / I am a hard hinter” is addicting and a great piece of lyricism that stays with the listener.

Lemuria has been able to let their song evolve while still keeping their stamp on the music with the same guitar tone as on past albums and the same vocal tics as in past songs. “Chautauqua County,” released in late 2010 as a 7″, is pounding, continuously pushing forward, with an absolutely gorgeous vocal line from Ozzella as the intro and outro to the song.

Pebble is a solid release from Lemuria and an absolutely pleasant listen, timing in at 32 minutes, making it neither too short or too long and showcasing great evolution from Ozzella and Kerns.

Check out songs on Lemuria’s MySpace here.

Lemuria plays at St. Stephen’s Church in Washington, D.C. on Friday and Charm City Art Space in Baltimore on Saturday. Head on out and support.

–Daniel

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