Lemuria

“The Distance Is So Big” continues in the band’s tradition of songs that unfold like mini-suites, hopscotching from one melodic figure or time signature to the next with a playwright’s sense of structure.” - NPR

Without a distinguishable understanding of the pop and intensity, a silent video of a Lemuria show would appear to be that of a blistering hardcore trio. To the viewers surprise, turning the audio on they’d find an intricate indie-pop trio.

Lemuria might not sound like they are from Buffalo, NY, but the band was proudly birthed there, following the legacy of an oddly eclectic, if not eccentric, music scene. When you loosen your ears to the sugary indie-pop, you’ll discover discordant notes, odd time signatures, and brutal riffs creating menacing yet catchy music. After putting out records on many celebrated labels like Bridge 9, Asian Man, No Idea and Suburban Home, they recently released a comic book 7” collaboration with Mitch Clem and Silver Sprocket documenting their tour of Russia.

Cayetana, a three-piece from Philadelphia, PA, formed a band and a great friendship in early Fall 2011, creating indie punk poppy jams full of raw sound and energy.

Mikey Erg has played on A LOT of records. He has also toured extensively for the better part of two decades in literally countless bands. It’s possible that not even Mikey himself could come close to listing them all. To start with, there is of course the band from which he gets his namesake: The Ergs!, New Brunswick, NJ basements’ favorite sons, in which Mikey played drums, sang and was principle songwriter. Additionally, Mikey has played in, toured with and performed on records with Dirt Bike Annie, The Unlovables, The Dopamines, Star Fucking Hipsters, House Boat, Worriers, and even sat in with Weston at their recent reunion shows. Comedian and fellow Don Giovanni Records alum Chris Gethard pegged Mikey to play drums in the house band for his weirdo, fringe late night TV show, The Chris Gethard Show. Since the disbanding of the Ergs, Mikey has fostered a solo project that has kept him super busy performing Billy Bragg-style – just a mic and an electric guitar – all over the world.

Having played on numerous records, accompanying so many other artists on the drums, Tentative Decisions is the first true Mikey Erg solo effort. It’s Mikey down to the nuts and bolts. It’s also the first album of original material he’s released since The Ergs “Upstairs/Downstairs”, nearly ten years ago. The familiar, second-generation Ramones worship is in tact, which will satisfy the diehard fans hoping against hope that Mikey will get the old band back together. But there are nuanced touches that make Tentative Decisions wholely unique in the canon of Mikey’s prolific output. Moments that touch on almost Celtic and British folk influences in their melodic structure act to refine the blaring down-stroked power chords and driving mid-tempo pop punk drum patterns. “Most of the songs were written in the latter half of last year,” Mikey says. “It came together pretty quickly which I love. Everything about the record fell into place totally organically.”

The album was produced by Jeff Rosenstock who last year, produced albums by Laura Stevenson, The Smith Street Band, and Dan Andriano of The Alkaline Trio.

For a musician with as many notches in his belt as Mikey Erg, it can be difficult to determine the impact of, and weigh the meaning behind each particular release. But Tentative Decisions is the closest thing you can get to an unaltered Mikey expression, maybe even moreso than some of the most celebrated albums he’s released over the years.

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