Review Summary: What is this, amateur hour?
Lemuria most likely chose their name for the same reason many bands do-- it sounds appropriate or maybe generates interest, it fits. They probably didn’t anticipate it being this
fitting though. Cursory research shows that the concept of “Lemuria” stems from a 19th Century hypothesis about a now-sunken continent that used to connect Asia and Africa. The hypothesis, besides being fodder for particularly nonsensical sci-fi novels, is now known as a famous debunked theory. It’s difficult not to form a hypothesis for Pebble
, too. Lemuria’s sophomore album is being released by Bridge Nine Records, a prominent and predominately hardcore record label who are making a little leap of faith by promoting what is strictly pop-punk here: tame pop-punk at that, there’s little hardcore, punk, or emo influence on Pebble. Which isn’t a negative in its own right, it just means the songs would be just as appropriate for little sisters as they would you. Personally, I’d rather my sis’ discover some better quality pop-punk than this, for Pebble
is stagnate and lifeless, vocal duties especially. My hypothesis that Lemuria would set themselves up nicely with a strong early-2011 release, based on factors like the fact that J. fuc
king Robbins is producing the record along with the general internet excitement surrounding Pebble
, was sadly proven just as false as 19th Century crazy zoologist Philip Sclater’s ridiculous guess at a submerged lost land that he decided to name after lemurs, of all animals.
In case the cutesy cover didn’t make it clear enough, Lemuria is fronted by a boy-and-girl duo, and on Pebble
they often sing back and forth to each other about “Why do you love me"”
and equally-annoying topics. In other cases, this approach can be especially endearing, or seem heartfelt and genuine. On Pebble
though, the listener is left out of the equation. We’re left looking in rather than being able to relate. The singing from both parties is flat and unenthusiastic, to a glaring fault. It leaves a significant hole in the album, a shame because the gritty guitars can be so impressive at times, a definite testament to Mascis’s production. Lemuria reaches a nadir on the album with “Different Girls.” An instrumentally dull, repetitive track, it details the girls’ worries about what the guy does on tour with drinking, other girls, and cliches abound. In a long-distance relationship myself, I feel I’m supposed to relate to her nagging and relentless worrying. Rather, “Different Girls” will undoubtedly leave you cringing convulsively, wondering why anyone would listen to this for pleasure. It’s odd, because while the percussion and guitars display obvious adeptness with their instruments, but the singing is so unbearably amateur that it could have been better performed by a couple singing to each other in a car-- and in particularly lackluster manner, too. Much of Pebble
resides in the same vein. The horrid, hackneyed lyrics compounded with an unemotive delivery forces
the instrumental work in the background, which manages to achieve a consistently interesting texture and melody here and there (“Gravity” and “Pleaser,” two of the catchiest), to be Lemuria’s small saving grace. While Pebble
can be lovably carefree and unambitious at times, the album is beyond saving. It’s a shame, because an energetic, rattling pop-punk album to herald in 2011 could have been as exciting as finding out there’s a secret, submerged continent off the coast of Africa.