Lemuria - Get Better (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Get Better (2008)

Asian Man

What a debut. I know, I know, Lemuria has been around a while and have quite a few releases under their belt (take that, snarky commenters), but Get Better, their full-length debut for Asian Man Records, will be their coming out party. Like, if Lemuria was LeBron James, Get Better would their Game 5 of the 2006-07 Eastern Conference Finals. Now that I've alienated every non-sports fan reading this, let me can the jock talk and get to what's pertinent -- how the record actually sounds.

With Get Better, Lemuria channel the best moments of mid-`90s alternative and emo, and perhaps unintentionally pay homage to bands like Rainer Maria and Discount. Intentional or not, it sounds awesome and ought to be a welcome addition to the library of any fan of those bands. The vocal harmonies are earnest and catchy. The guitar work creates palpable tension with crunches and mutes in the appropriate places. And hot damn, "Pants" is such a great opening track.

The band's biggest strength sonically are their dual vocalists, Sheena Ozzella and Alexander Kerns. Their styles reside on opposite ends of the spectrum -- Ozzella's higher, cheerful delivery directly contrasts Kerns's subdued, monotone voice. Even with that said, they sound great when they share vocal duties, such as on the fantastic "Yesterday's Lunch" and "Hawaiian T-Shirt," with a superb one-line chorus ("But every funny guy has a serious side") that really showcases the point I'm attempting to drive home.

There's absolutely no reason whatsoever this band can't be huge. They've crafted a sound that can be enjoyed not only by discriminating, snooty bloggers such as myself, but by people whose listening habits include rocking out (or doing whatever it is they do) to bands like Paramore (don‘t let that reference deter you from checking out this band and record). Seriously. Mass appeal, yo. Get Better is totally sweet. Not sweet as in awesome, even though it is awesome -- I'm talkin' sweet in the old-fashioned way. Lemuria have created one of the best albums of this young year, and easily the best debut full-length in 2008 thus far.