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Lemanis | Push Me Pull You



I know I'm not supposed to say this, but music reviewing is such a farce. The whole gig is personal. The whim or taste of a writer is inevitably (often) boisterously splashed across a page. The mere musicians in mortal terror awaiting a thumbs up or down from a hunch-backed word wielder holed up in some shady closet called, "office."

The good news is often through that undeniably biased review the writer has the ability to tune-in otherwise tuned-out would-be patrons. And, as with Lemanis, the music is respective of so many musical influences the listener simply must find something in there that makes you giddy with glee.

And clearly this is the case here. Lemanis is a musically morphing group whose sounds manage to wed melodic, traditional and classic rock without being either redundant or passé. For lack of a more articulate thesaurus researched adjective Lemanis' music is catchy.

Their latest offering, "Push Me Pull You," completely compels you to have faith that original music (that respects its elders) is alive and kicking!

The first track, "Museum" instantly reminded me of early innocent Who-ligans…you can almost see the Lemanis lads in frilly collared shirts and pencil-legged pinstripe tweeds on a “Ready, Steady, Go!” set. Their music accented with corny circa '64 camera pushes and frame melting effects. But then you remember it's 2009...

Lemanis next weaves you into a wildly different kind of yarn called, "Colosseum." Here you're slapped with delightful dollops of Celtic traditional pickings mixed with old-school Zeppelin rock. The vocals are as if you’ve wandered into a gypsy camp on a solstice festival eve: just wonderful.

Who are these blokes? Phil Baker, Didjeridu, Nick Lemanis, Adam Sinclair and John Sidbotham (<- a rather suspicious name…). The instruments worked between them are pretty complete; any self-respecting music teacher would raise an eyebrow in delight and envy. And their songs are surprisingly unique for all the name-dropping that I’ve managed in the first few paragraphs.

The vocals on their ditty, “She Was Always a Dreamer,” are worth the purchase price; and who knew moor-inspired British jig mixed with mariachi? Joe Strummer did…but you get my point.

They switch musical abilities again to splash in a bit of surf-retro in, “Go Blonde.” The vocals (that I almost hesitate to send you here as you may think me mad) are a brushed-up version of a certain bubble-headed beach-boy band.

Finally when you think you’ve had enough of trying to pin point their influences, track seven, “A Witch’s Dog,” veers off to yet another unexpected corner of the globe. As accordion and trombone mingle to land you in some creepy border town whose inhabitants have all gathered for a double-booked festival celebrating an illegal polital election and a beloved ex-citizen's funeral; with the same band on hand to play background.

And track eleven, "Woodshop," is a semi-gothic / ethereal stroll complete with a melancholy choir and mourning piano rift. Good job boys. There are twelve songs in all and that does not seem nearly enough.

That point is this: Lemanis are a group of remarkably versatile talents who given a listen could be the next global trend in multi-generational audience appreciation. I suggest you grab this CD and get in the know - now - before they are. You’ll get a bonus in the liner notes: an explanation of album’s seemingly-all-too-clever title.

Um, are you still buggering about? I've got no more to say 'cept get over to now!




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