Lemuria – “Foggy Smoke” (Stereogum Premiere)
I grew up thinking that Lemuria were an institution, some tristate punk legends that demanded reverence. The way people spoke about them sounded as if they had been around forever, and for a long while I was afraid to really connect with their music out of some unfounded fear that their discography was sprawling and impenetrable. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized that they were innately approachable, and that I probably could have used their music to help me get through high school. Funny how misconceptions can color your opinion of a band so much, huh? But even though they aren’t the unimpeachable group I thought they were, they’re still pretty legendary: the rare story of a band that built themselves out of their hometown Buffalo scene based on non-stop touring and a string of consistent releases, picking up dedicated fans along the way rather than experiencing a sudden surge of popularity. A fanbase like that is the backbone of a talented band, and “Foggy Smoke” solidifies that pretty much everything that Lemuria puts out is gold. It’s a sigh of a song, exasperated but resigned: “I hate you as much as I love you,” Sheena Ozzella sings. The track is the B-side to a new 7-inch collaboration with cartoonists Mitch Clem and Nation Of Amanda. The vinyl comes with a 40-page comic book that follows the band through a 2001 tour in Russia where they encounter “violent Nazis, crooked cops, mobster shakedowns, gunshots, a tropical storm, rabid dogs, and a substandard German pizza!” It’s a fun concept for a release, and the song even plays into the cold setting where the comic takes place. Listen below.
Turnstile Comix #3: Lemuria is out 12/9 on Silver Sprocket.
[Artwork by Mitch Clem.]