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Lemuria/ Kind Of Like Sptting
Your Living Room's All Over Me
Art Of The Underground

Lemuria and Kind Of Like Spitting's split CD Your Living Room's All Over Me features seven songs from the Buffalo, New York-based Lemuria and five songs from Portland, Oregon's own Kind Of Like Spitting. It's like night and day between the two. Lemuria is power pop punk whereas Kind Of Like Spitting is stoner/experimental rock. It's like putting the melodic punk hippodromes of Paramore with the radical vocal cuts of Buck 65. There is a clear delineation between the two groups, musically, lyrically, and vocally.

With Lemuria, imagine what the B-52's sounded like before the commercial success of their album Cosmic Thing with their pop single "Love Shack." That is like Lemuria. They are in the early stages of making songs, finding lyrical phrases that relate emotional expressions to guitar movements, rhythm sections, and tempo rates. Their seven tracks are phenomenal in their chord shifts, their escalating and decelerating progressions, and dazzling guitar trills that pattern the movements and keep them from sounding mundane. Songs like "Hours" and "Keep Quiet" have exciting intercepting lines reflective of Nakatomi Plaza and Bitter Sweet.

Similarly, Lemuria features female and male vocal interplays between bassist Jason Draper and guitarist Sheena Ozzella. Along with drummer Alexander Kerns, Lemuria's songs blend punk and power pop curriculums with a genuine affinity for their crustaceans. Their harmonies are not contrived but plied together laudably. Their vocals and instrument lines naturally flow into each other like they want to play together. The lyrics illuminate feelings that are kept in the dark like in the song "Bristles And Whiskers" about a married man who is keeping homosexual desires hidden from his wife: "He hides his dirty movies/ He kisses his wife/ She has a suspicion of his filthy desires/ They both pretend to come with a common image of another man filling them with love/ He lives his life shaving the whiskers that prickle his wife." The stories are based in reality even if the feelings being voiced are hidden from sight. Lemuria's songs have energy and a melodic compass that keeps every part of the songs feeling natural.

Conversely, Kind Of Like Spitting's frontman Ben Barnett, formally of The Thermals, sings and plays the guitar outside of the melodic lines of his band. The points of the songs don't come together harmoniously. The vocals don't settle into the melodic folds, they feel uncomfortable and insecure like on the tracks "Shallow Doses" and "Team Reasonable." The music is well formed with mobile ripples along the progressions. There are elements of stoner and experimental rock factions with tinges of indie pop on tracks like "Team Reasonable" and "Why I Smoke Mad Weed." The song "You I Seek" cobbles a speedy tempo with whips of punk and hard rock scions. There is a folk fluency in Barnett's vocals that move into a stoner tonality on the tracks.

The final number "Afraid Of Crushes" has a slow beat with straining vocals that at times feel like they are fledging to keep afloat. Reflective of how Barnett feels as he wrote on the band's myspace.com site, "I just wanted to let you know that all the shows planned for November are cancelled. I don't have any plans to make a record or continue this project. My personal life has become too intense to continue writing songs that blame others for my issues…I have spent ten years of my life getting high and blaming others for my history and inability to control my demons…Continuing KOLS is living in the past and dredges up too many bad memories to stomach anymore…This last tour, Losing Kate, Losing our drummer, Losing my home and the life I thought Kate and I would know, has opened my eyes to a lot of pretty painful things. Thank you for listening and Thank you for caring…I just can't take it anymore. The sadness is killing me."

Lemuria's and Kind Of Like Spitting's split CD is consistently genuine even though one band feels disoriented and the other one has good harmony together. Oddly, it is the younger band who shows harmony. Lemuria is currently on a club tour and Kind Of Like Spitting is refocusing their energy. All the best to Barnett and his mates and may harmony stop eluding them.

-Susan Frances

Track listing:
1. Hours
2. Lick Your Lips
3. Bugbear
4. Keep Quiet
5. Rough Draft
6. Bristles and Whiskers
7. Sophomore
8. Shallow Doses
9. Team Reasonable
10. You I Seek
11. Why I Smoke Mad Weed
12. Afraid Of Crushes

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