May 24, 2008 was the first time I had the chance to see Lemuria. It was the Asian Man Records tour with Bomb The Music Industry, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Kepi Ghoulie, and The Queers. It was, by all accounts, a hell of a show. Lemuria was, at the time, a band I was on the fence about. Get Better had just come out a few month before the show. I wasn’t cold on the band by any means, but I was definitely being reactionary to the hype that was surrounding them at the time. Lemuria, according to people on sites like Punknews, were the greatest thing since sliced bread. Lemuria was, by all accounts, a band I should have loved. I just kept fighting it. It wasn’t until after seeing them live that I got it. This was a great band. I felt absolutely ridiculous for not giving them a shot earlier. I’m sitting here six and a half years later, having seen them live twice this year, and one thing springs to mind. Though my view on the band was shaky to start, Lemuria have become one of my favorite bands.
It’s always impressive to see a band continually put out high quality releases for as long as they have. Everything release has been pretty fucking fantastic from their start in 2005 through now. Their latest 7”, the latest installment of the Turnstile Comix series, is no different. The two songs featured on the 7” are exactly what anyone could expect from the band. Stylistically it mixes and matches elements from their prior releases. “Christine Perfect” feels like the missing link between Get Better and The Distance Is So Big. It is a great indie/punk song. Fuck that, it’s a great pop song. “Foggy Smoke,” on the other hand, has a similar vibe to that of “Varoom Allure” or “Paint The Youth.” Both are strong songs, and a great addition to the band’s discography. There is a third song not on the 7” itself, but as a digital bonus. It’s called “Courtesy Mercedes,” and it is a pop punk/indie song that is driving and full of energy. These are three songs that could fall almost anywhere in the discography as a whole, and would work swimmingly no matter what.
The next part of the release is the 40 page comic that comes with it. The comic tells the story of Lemuria’s 2011 Russian tour. There are stories of nazis (repeatedly) fucking with the shows. There is a shakedown from a slimy club promoter/mafia guy. It definitely makes that tour seem like a fucking adventure. In both a positive and negative light.
As is the case with this series, the artwork is done by Mitch Clem and Nation Of Amanda. Both do an excellent job of bringing things to life. Clem’s art has only continued to improve since the end of Nothing Nice To Say. His comic drawing is made all the better by the inkwash/watercolor work of Nation Of Amanda.
From the comic to the music, this record is the total package. Make sure you grab a copy.
Mitch Clem / Nation Of Amanda