Lansingmusic.TV interviewees Lemuria release their sophomore LP, “Pebble” today on Bridge 9 Records. Here’s a review.

Lemuria is Alexander Kerns (drums/vocals), Sheena Ozzella (guitar/vocals) and Max Gregor (bass).

Gravity, the opener, is a slow ballad with bits of distorted, chugging guitar toward the end. During the breaks between verses, vocalist/guitarist Shenna Ozzella’s guitar line pulls along like a dollar on a string. During the actual verses, power chords are chugged lightly but as the song progresses they get progressively more open. Almost breaking the song apart at the seams, but it stays held together.

I feel like this is the musical theme of “Pebble”. The songs feel like they want to burst into the noisier or more straightup rocking side of Lemuria’s past (see Home for the Holidays from the “First Collection LP”). But I love that the band reigned in their guitars and made other things like the lyrics, vocals and the drums more of the focus. Gravity has only four lines of vocals, undoubtedly a sign that drummer/singer Alexander Kerns took the time to make them mean something.

Other lyrical ideas explored are life on tour, like on Different Girls and Yellowstone Lady. On “Lady”, Kerns sings “Miles City, Montana/Driving east on 94/A dozen songs I have to write/ I know what about, not sure what for”. A song about life on the road as a musician fits Lemuria to a tee. They have an affinity for touring so an homage to it on this song is cool to hear.

Instead of pure rocking, Ozzella chose to accentuate her softer guitar style by using less distortion and using the guitar as more or less a texture. Case in point on Ribcage and on Different Girls. On “Girls” guitar lines ring in and out during Ozzella’s vocal parts. As she sings “It’s in your imagination, of course” a sparse, droning vocal duet with Kerns takes over. This, coupled with the sparse guitar line, makes it almost eerie.

The standout track here is “Chautauqua County”. Kerns’ lyrics here are great. “Defining my life by it’s opportunities/Especially the ones I missed”. Easily the best lyric on the album. Ozzella’s guitars are cranked, the drums and bass are in overdrive mode and push the song along. The most catchy song on the album, by far.

The opener, Gravity, sums up my thoughts on the record exactly. Lyrics and vocals shine here. All the instruments take a back seat to the voice. However subdued the instruments, they still rock. The guitars play more of a texture role but have a bursting-at-the-seams type of quality to them. On songs like Chautauqua County and Wise People, they do break out into their old selves but then are caged up again.

I came into this review with nothing but the best of thoughts, and I am pleased with Lemuria’s sophomore effort.

Go pick it up here: http://www.bridge9.com/lemuria

And go see them at The Trumbullplex in Detroit on Sunday February 6, 2011.