June 28 2013 12:00 AM

Buffalo band Lemuria showcase new sounds on latest album; plays Mac’s Bar Sunday


Friday, June 28 — Lemuria has been making louder and louder splashes with each new event in the band’s history. The band’s new album, “The Distance is So Big,” is no different. 

The lead single, “Brilliant Dancer,” features a bouncy set of drums played by Alex Kerns and just-as-bouncy guitar lines from vocalist and guitarist Sheena Ozzella. The song shows the band utilizing harmonies, punchy guitar, bass tones and piano to create something totally fresh and inviting.

Taking the lead vocal reigns on “Clay Baby,” Kerns shows off more melody than I’ve heard from him before. Showcasing a low, baritone drone, his vocals meld well with Ozzella's poppy, harmonic and soaring style. There’s even a prominent synthesizer on the song — neat to hear that in the primarily guitar-drums-bass-vocals arrangement.

“Scienceless” is a standout track here. The guitars have a crunchy yet lush tone while the bridge recalls “Entertainment!”-era Gang of Four as the bass (played by Max Gregor) is super punchy, the drums are funky and feedback creeps from Ozzella's guitar.

“Oahu, Hawaii” has more great arpeggio guitar work and Kerns pulls his vocal chords for more and more melody.

All three members of the band share some vocal duties on the song, which is great to hear.

Ozzella's backing vocal of “Oahu” is a monster hook.

“Chihuly” reminds me of ‘90s power pop a la Gin Blossoms, but with Lemuria’s trademark vocal tradeoffs. Kerns’ drums are a driving one-two force and pumps up the song during the chorus.

The drumming on “Bluffing Statistics” is some of the best, creative and effective I’ve heard in a while; Kerns goes from fast-paced, jazzed out intensity to hard-hitting and snare rumbling in a heartbeat.

The heaviest song on the album, “Ruby,” is also its last song. The chugging-then-feedback guitars bounce from front to back in the song’s mix, adding a bit of spontaneity. Excellent use of the mix as an instrument.

Lemuria has transcended the punk roots from which they came. Sure, they play with the wild abandon of a punk band — but they’re so much more than that.

With each new release, the band is showing more and more of its songwriting skills, creating catchy choruses, interesting instrumental parts and a big yet fun feel as well as experimenting with ideas like harmony, melody and synthesizers.

To call Lemuria a punk band is an understatement to its abilities. It’s not punk and it’s not indie rock. Lemuria h as created its own style and this album shows that.

Lemuria plays with The Plurals, Small Parks, Bike Tuff and Running Shoes at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on Sunday. Tickets are $10 and doors are at 7 p.m. For more information, visit Fusionshows.com.