Lemuria was once thought to be a lost continent in the middle of the Indian Ocean that connected Madagascar to the Indian subcontinent (see: Atlantis). The theory went that the continent’s existence explained why you could find lemurs–and other fauna–in Madagascar and India, but nowhere in between. Many thanks to science (it was before we knew plate tectonics was a thing), we know that’s a pretty silly theory, but Lemuria still has a mystical air in some spiritual circles, and the idea of bridging disparate lands and life is more than a little appealing. The band Lemuria may not hail from a far-off land lost to the mists of time (they’re from Buffalo), but they do bridge sounds from different ages of indie, and bring melodic punk–the stuff of Clinton-era mixtapes (real mixtapes) with hand-drawn covers–to a new generation of DIY kids that want the tenderness and sensitivity, but still love a bit o’ the hard stuff.
Guitarist Sheena Ozzella and drummer Alex Kerns (both share vocal duties) drew inspiration from groups like Superchunk and Jawbreaker when they formed Lemuria back in 2004. They put out more than a few of singles (split and on their own) over a handful of labels that they compiled into an LP’s worth of tunes on 2007’s appropriately titled The First Collection. The band’s first proper full-length came the following year with Get Better. In 2010, Austinite Max Gregor signed on as the group’s bassist and the band joined the roster of punk ‘n’ hardcore label Bridge Nine Records. They released their sophomore disc Pebble the following year.
Early this past summer, Lemuria released their third full-length The Distance Is So Big. Tracks like “Scienceless” demonstrate that Lemuria isn’t your average punk band. There’s a distinct lo-fi vibe–especially in the verses–but only just enough to give it that immediate, live feel. The bass and guitars are crunchy, and Kerns drums sound like they’re right there with you. But there’s something more at work on “Scienceless.” An electric piano adds sweetness. The hooks are huge, especially when combined with the innocence of Ozella’s vocals–she does get a very cool little diva moment when she coming out of a nervy instrumental breakdown that blurs that very distinct line between punk and prog (which owes a lot to the interplay between Gregor’s propulsive, buzzy bass and Kerns’ dextrous drumming). That’s the beauty of Lemuria. They manage to forge new sonic textures whilst bridging sounds old and new, punky and poppy.
You can see Lemuria at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013:
Fri, Nov 8, 12:00 a.m. at Red 7 (official Fun Fest Nites show)
Sun, Nov 10, 12:30 p.m. on the Orange Stage