There’s nothing better than an enjoyable split. Two bands coming together for the common good…it’s magical. Your Living Room’s All Over Me pairs veteran emo supergroup Kind of Like Spitting with the female-fronted pop-punk of Lemuria.
The first seven songs come from relative newcomers, Lemuria. Aside from two songs sung by drummer Alexander Kerns, guitarist Sheena Ozzella controls the vocal duties for Lemuria and does a fantastic job. With a singing style somewhat reminiscent of Cruiserweight’s Stella Maxwell, Ozzella has the ability to deliver emotions ranging from cute, like in album opener “Hours,” to absolutely jaded as in “Bristles and Whiskers.” The latter, which is credited to Kerns in the lyrics booklet, contains some of the more biting lines on the album, which says a lot since Lemuria is paired with Kind of Like Spitting; “They don’t make love, they fuck / And he assumes it’s enough / They both pretend to come with a common image of another man filling them with love.” In fact, Kerns delivers powerful lyrics on five of the seven songs, with “Rough Draft” being another exceptional instance with the lines, “Everyone I fall in love with already has fallen in love with someone I respect / So now I’m an altruist / Oh fuck, just this once can I root for the home team? I’m always the bee to kamikaze to save the precious queen.” Lemuria impresses throughout Living Room, a promising feat considering it’s both their longest release at seven songs, and their most prominent, being paired with Kind of Like Spitting.
Led by seemingly miserable and despondent frontman Ben Barnett, Kind of Like Spitting helped usher in emo’s popularity in the late `90s with stylistic and lyrical comparisons to Gainesville, Florida’s I Hate Myself. With an exasperated, slightly off-key singing voice, Barnett spends the greater part of his songs in vocal self-reflection, bouncing schizophrenically between optimism and pessimism in a futile search for clarity. Kind of Like Spitting’s half begins with the wrenching “Shallow Doses” in typical KOLS fashion: “Lay your hands on me / A tempo I can see / 24 ribs create a seam / No debate / If you’re the captain, regulate / Yes-men sway, tell me it’s OK.” While most of the songs are played in a slower, more indie-oriented fashion, the blistering “You I Seek” (actually a Thermals track, Barnett’s other band) pulls in punk elements coupled with wailing emo vocals. There are also some surprisingly positive lyrics on Living Room. On “Team Reasonable,” Barnett closes with the lines, “As history moves on / I can only hope to learn and not repeat my wrongs / I cradle it closely / Something to be proud of in the end.”
Sadly, Your Living Room’s All Over Me appears to be the swan song for Kind of Like Spitting. On Oct. 8, 2006 Barnett announced the band’s end. Although not the band’s most impressive effort, Your Living Room’s All Over Me is a formidable farewell and sends Kind of Like Spitting into history with a solid final offering.