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!




You May Also Like:

We Got Lucky: Kevin Devine And Petal's Kiley Lotz Sculpt A Perfect Tribute To Tom Petty
Tue 02 Oct 2018
It’s one year since we said we’d see Tom Petty somewhere along the road, and it’s still a bitter one to swallow. We’ve had time to accept that there’s a full stop to his story, and to understand our relationship with his music in a new context, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.
Black Grape Line Up Spring Tour
Tue 02 Oct 2018
Black Grape have announced a UK tour.
Super Furry Animals To Release Yeti Fur Filled Box Set Version Of BBC Sessions Compilation
Thu 11 Oct 2018
Yes, you read that right. Clippings of fur from the Yeti outfits worn by Super Furry Animals for their 2003 hit, Golden Retriever, have been embedded into vinyl records, forming super limited versions of their forthcoming BBC sessions compilation.
We Were Promised Jetpacks - The More I Sleep The Less I Dream (Album Review)
Thu 27 Sep 2018
Album four from Edinburgh's We Were Promised Jetpacks is, in their own words, about going back to basics. Since 2014’s ‘Unravelling’ they’ve changed management and label, both potential pitfalls, while recording was undertaken in the US with producer Jonathan Low. Running alongside these changes on ‘The More I Sleep The Less I Dream’ is the switch back to their original four man configuration and something approximating the style of their early releases.
Catfish And The Bottlemen Line Up February UK And Ireland Dates, Reschedule SSE Arena Wembley Show
Mon 24 Sep 2018
Catfish and the Bottlemen have announced a handful of shows in February.
Alt-J - Reduxer (Album Review)
Mon 01 Oct 2018
Remix albums don’t always work. The best examples refresh and reveal elements of the original songs, giving them new life and often broadening their appeal. When they fail, it is often because the tracks lack the integrity and consistency of the source material.
Gorillaz Share First Ever Live Performance Video For Tranz
Thu 13 Sep 2018
Gorillaz have shared a new music video for Tranz.
St. Vincent Shares Pared Back Piano Version Of Slow Disco
Fri 28 Sep 2018
St. Vincent has shared a third version of Slow Disco.
 
< Prev   Next >