Stumbled across this while writing up labelmates ABC Gum and this is too fun not to dig into deeper. I’d heard a few things over the course of the last five years or so from The Lemons and lumped them in with the usual output from The Memories / Gnar Tapes fam, which is certainly apt. This is something a bit different though. The band’s usual foray into recording is light, childish (in a good way), but also very rough. They don’t strip away the first two qualities, but that roughness fades on At Home. The band gathered up their cadre of friends and recorded a house show of songs with, for and about friends and the vibes simmering off of this are perfect for melting the wintertime doldrum blues that start to settle into the bones and poison the soul in January.
Oddly, for being a live tape, this is as crisp, clear, and warm as The Lemons have ever sounded. Songs seem rehearsed, though the set still has an immediacy that glows off of it in radiant waves. Dogs bark, glasses clink, but the music swims to the front of the speakers like a beacon of hope. In six-part harmony the band works through inside jokes that don’t leave the listener feeling like a stranger and litter them among songs about The Ramones, Johnathan Richman, and childhood TV fixtures. The Richman shoutout feels particularly prescient and this whole set is very in line with his later works that attempted an all-inclusive feel. Split that sensibility with a few Aughts janglers like The Beets, Magic Kids, and, yeah, The Memories as well, and you’re getting the picture. Every song feels like the band would gladly welcome you in and give out a round of hugs, share a beer, and pass out a tambourine if you feel like it. Seems hokey? Maybe, but also in tense times, a little innocent cheer never hurt anyone.
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