Album Review

Cheap Girls/Lemuria [coll] – [No Idea]

Naysayer   3/8/2014   7-inch, A Library

Hurray for splits so the kids can get their stuff out. And hurray for small labels who can get the kids’ splits out. Such is the case for this No Idea release of two 21st century bands, Cheap Girls and Lemuria, who are putting stuff out like crazy, exploring their inner 1990’s (with a touch of 1980’s). Now this is not a slight. In no way. But sometimes you need to take two steps backward to go three steps forward. Such is the obsession with 80’s/90’s alternative rock. Can anyone say Husker Du, Replacements, Sugar (which is Husker Du redux), Smoking Popes? Well I know a few bands who can.

Let’s look at Cheap Girls: trio, two of which are brothers, from Lansing, Michigan, straight out driving alterna rock done well.
It feels factory, working class, with a bit of country. Lyrics about feeling bad. Good teamwork on the musicianship. Guitar, bass, drums. A nice line repeated several times which I may sing around the house: “I want to stare you down.” Youtube comment fan base is a lot of dudes talking about what a “rockin'” show they put on. I’ll definitely put on my plaid shirt and listen. Good work.

Now let’s look at Lemuria: duo (sometimes trio), one gal, one guy. Emphasis on female vocals. Straight up indie pop. Does anyone remember Barbara Manning, indie queen of the 90’s that everyone who was anyone referenced, yet she could still play small clubs, emphasis on small, that would be half full? She was/is a mighty lyricist with a killer indie sound. Lemuria should listen to her, or maybe they already have. Sheena Ozzella, one half of Lemuria, reminds me of Manning for some reason. Anyway… Ozzella’s higher female, girlish vocal style goes against the guitar, drum, bass indie sound that fills the listener, making for a lovely mix. Lemuria often has song titles with single words, no articles: “Lipstick”, “Pants”, “Pleaser”, “Bookworm”. This split has “Lemons” about a relationship which just doesn’t click. There also is “Single Mother” which is the stand out of the two. Very simple lyrics but it gets to the heart of the problem. A single mother is scared about being a single mother. I get that, just being a parent. But then Alex Kerns, the other half of Lemuria, briefly states his attraction to single mothers. If I say I get that also, am I giving away too much information? Listen. Enjoy it.

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