When: Sat., July 6, 7 p.m. 2013
Emo as we know it arose in the mid-80s in Washington, D.C., as a reaction to the hardcore scene’s growing violence; “Revolution Summer” bands such as Rites of Spring, Embrace, and Beefeater tempered hardcore’s aggression with melodic, pop-friendly songwriting and introspective lyricism, and years later the likes of Fugazi, Jawbox, and Shudder to Think built on that basic posthardcore foundation. Several waves of emo have since passed, but in the past five years a new upwelling of young underground bands has reimagined the bygone days of the genre (and sometimes reclaimed its name). Of all these hot new things, Lemuria is one of the few that really nails the specific D.C. sound that inspired every other wave of emo; the Buffalo trio uses it as a backbone for the sunny bubblegum jams on its recent third album, The Distance Is So Big (Bridge Nine). On the spacious “Bluffing Statistics” the band matches restrained fury with sweet male-female vocal harmonies and ends up sounding like a bizarro-world Fugazi circa 13 Songs playing a straightforward song about love; album closer “Ruby” has the muscle-bound, tooth-gnashing hooks of the best tracks by Jawbox front man J. Robbins (who produced the Lemuria album). The Distance Is So Big is a mighty album, and its upbeat, catchy punk is a perfect fit for summer—particularly for riding in a convertible down Lake Shore Drive late at night. —Leor Galil Lifted Bells and Truman & His Trophy open.