Home > News & Reviews > Lemuria

Lemuria - Recreational Hate (Album Review)

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 Written by Huw Baines

There’s a line that pops up a few times on Lemuria’s surprise new record, ‘Recreational Hate’. It’s there on the country-tinged twang of Kicking In, and again as Marigold speeds to its conclusion: “Like something I had, but I hadn’t noticed yet.”

It’s a pretty neat summation of where the trio find themselves on the follow up to 2013’s ‘The Distance is So Big’. After several releases with well-regarded labels like Asian Man and Bridge Nine they’ve gone it alone and put this record out under their own steam, while they’ve also allowed their melodies and harmonies to counter indie-rock heft at almost every turn. It’s not like independent spirit and catchy refrains have been foreign concepts in the past, but here they’re the main event.

‘Recreational Hate’ is the most tonally varied Lemuria album, and also the most ambitious. More Tunnel, for example, is a close cousin of the chugging ‘Pebble’ highlight Wise People, but Timber Together is a sparse, beautiful opener that finds guitarist Sheena Ozzella setting out the overall change in pace over lonely backing.

Producer Chris Shaw, meanwhile, helps create a warm, welcoming atmosphere after stepping in for J. Robbins, whose style tends to be more abrasive.

The former Jawbox leader’s work on the band’s previous two LPs was built from percussion up - foregrounding Alex Kerns’ unusual patterns - but on ‘Recreational Hate’ it’s straight up pop satisfaction that underpins everything. Shaw’s is a sympathetic hand.

Upon its release several years ago, as part of the Turnstile Comix series, Christine Perfect felt like an outlier. It was far breezier than anything on ‘The Distance is So Big’ and defined by the weight behind its chorus. When repurposed here, though, it’s very much among friends.

To illustrate the point, More Tunnel, Wanting To Be Yours, Marigold and Best Extra are all fiendish, complex constructions that deliver the simplest of sugar rushes (which, if we’re honest, is good pop writing in a nutshell). Lemuria have taken a medium-sized risk by focusing so heavily on this element of their sound - doubtless some will miss the rough edges of ‘Pebble’ - but they make it work.

Risk/reward is an uneasy balance, though, and the record’s midsection leans a little too heavily on a run of slower, contemplative songs. It’s a pacing issue exacerbated by how enjoyable the bookends are, but one that doesn’t ultimately rise beyond a minor quibble.

‘Recreational Hate’ is a clever, richly enjoyable record from a band who seem happy to play the game their way from now on. It’s engineered to live or die based on the strength of its hooks and, come the final bell, it’s in rude health.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

Related News

Lemuria Release Kicking In Video
Mon 23 Apr 2018
Lemuria have released a video for Kicking In.
Surprise Surprise: Lemuria Talk Dismissing Expectations and 'Recreational Hate'
Fri 02 Feb 2018
A good surprise requires planning, because it doesn’t take long to see through one that’s been hastily assembled. That must have been playing on Lemuria’s mind as they put the finishing touches to ‘Recreational Hate’.
Lemuria Announce New Album 'Recreational Hate'
Mon 11 Dec 2017
Lemuria have announced their new album.
Imagination Is Key: How The Sheepdogs Are Keeping Rock 'N' Roll Colourful
Wed 31 Oct 2018
It’s virtually impossible to do anything completely new in the realm of rock'n'roll, especially when some of the greatest acts of all time have already pioneered, innovated and explored the genre to its very limits and beyond. Does that mean like-minded young bands should just lazily imitate their predecessors or even give up? Hell, no. They need to follow the example set by the Sheepdogs, write the best songs possible and spice them up with as many stylistic and instrumental flavours as their talents will allow.
Bill Ryder-Jones - Yawn (Album Review)
Tue 13 Nov 2018
Photo: Ki Price Bill Ryder-Jones’ fifth solo album is a dream-pop melange of shoegaze and alternative indie fed through a highly literate, if rather boring, cypher.
Baxter Dury, Étienne De Crécy, Delilah Holiday - B.E.D (Album Review)
Thu 08 Nov 2018
When Baxter Dury picks apart the ironies of the modern day on Only My Honesty Matters, in that deep, cigarette-gravelled voice, the minimalism of the instrumental beneath his rhythmic, spoken word monologue about “having a roll up” and “impotent white obvious people” listening to Florence and the Machine is almost forgivable. Almost.
Swearin' - Fall Into The Sun (Album Review)
Thu 01 Nov 2018
Space can be good, whether it’s allowing us to take a break from people or helping intrigue to blossom in the moments left unfilled in a piece of music. Left to our own devices, we are able to take stock, gain perspective and ultimately grow. It feels like Swearin’, who split in 2015 when guitarists and vocalists Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride ended their romantic and musical relationship, would back that sentiment.
You Want To Be Able To Belong: Kevin Devine On The Thrills and Challenges Of Devinyl Splits
Fri 07 Dec 2018
td#right {display:none !important;} ​ Illustration: Tom Norton “If you’re a basketball player you don’t get better by playing people you can beat easily. You get better by playing people you might lose to.”​
< Prev   Next >