REVIEW: Lemuria – "The Distance Is So Big"

With the release of their third LP, Lemuria is in a weird position. They continue to grow creatively, but there always seems to be a push back from the fans. There was a sizable group of people who were disappointed by Pebble. Those people were missing out. The main complaint seemed to be that it didn’t sound like what they wanted. It would have been easy enough for them to remake Get Better. But it wouldn’t have been genuine.

That said, The Distance Is So Big is a great example of that genuineness. The record builds on the more mid-tempo, post-hardcore influenced sound the band started playing around with on Pebble. It is, however, a slightly happier sounding record. If Pebble was the blood and guts record, The Distance Is So Big is other side of it. It excels in that the lyrical content has gotten stronger.

This record is really a showcase of Alex Kerns’ growth as both a songwriter and musician. His vocals have gotten stronger, and his range has widened. While he still has his usual delivery in these songs, he has gotten away from the almost monotone delivery of the past. It is a great change. This is most noticable on “Clay Baby.” This isn’t to say that Sheena Ozzella doesn’t shine on this record. While only penning one song, the songs she sings lead on continue to be among the strongest. She goes between mellow and poppy at the drop of a hat. “Bluffing Statistics” being a great example of the former, “Scienceless” being a great example of the latter.

This is really a nice middle ground between Get Better and Pebble. The moments of indie pop absolutely shine. The mid-tempo, post-hardcore nails it. The 90s alternative influenced songs shine. This is in part to the spot on production of J. Robbins. The addition of Max Gregor on bass is also a key reason. He adds a great amount of depth to the record. While the previous bassists have been great, he seems to gel with the band.

More or less, this is the perfect record for Lemuria to put out. Even the people who were turned off by Pebble can get into this. The record is a great middle between the prior full lengths. In a just world, they would be the biggest band in the world.

Bridge Nine
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REVIEW: Candy Hearts – "The Best Ways To Disappear"

Candy Hearts, man. They are a band I have been following since their first record back in 2010, and I have been impressed by how their records just keep getting better. As such, their new EP is following that trend.

If there was a record that is going to make this band huge, The Best Ways To Disappear is it. It is the best they have ever sounded, they have the Bridge Nine promotional machine behind them (via Chad Gilbert’s Violently Happy imprint), and a batch of really great songs. This record is the logical extension of Everything’s Amazing And Nobody’s Happy. By that, I mean that they have further honed their songwriting. Like that record, these songs are quick shots of energy. The main difference being that this EP feels more focused and is helped by damn near perfect production.

There isn’t much else I can say about this band that I haven’t covered in the other two reviews I have done of their records. The songs sound punchy as usual. The best part is that they have finally come out of the shadow of their influences. While the record treads very common subjects, namely the classic indie/pop punk love songs, it does it in a fun way. Bad Idea, the album opener, sets a hell of a tone.

It is amazing how great production can make a record. New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert fucking nailed it. If his production on Nothing To Prove by H2O revitalized that band, it did a hell of a lot to finally have Candy Hearts sound as great as they should.

Everyone who is stoked on indie/pop punk should get this. It is a no brainer.

Candy Hearts
Violently Happy / Bridge Nine
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