This has been a while coming... another gem of obscure 90s hardcore, this time thanks to dan and his excellent site ROAWR!. Just four songs, it's kind of trivial as a record, yet also quite excellent and beautiful in its own way. I know nothing about Lumber except what is already on Roawr! - that "they existed sometime in the mid90s, released a 4-track 7" and some of the members went on to form the mighty Julia". That, in a way, is all you really need to know, at least if you already like this kind of music.
Lumber is very recognizably an antecedent of Julia, containing both the roughness and prettiness of that band's songs, and those familiar tinkling, rarefied guitar lines, energetic drum fills, melodic punk catchiness - and even experimental noise that featured in Julia's style. Of course, it's all slightly less developed, but it's really almost just as good. In fact, it's both the familiarities and the differences that make this record interesting to listen to.
The first track, 'Stripped' starts of with a bit of good 'ol echoey emopeggio (reminds me a bit of Indian Summer's 'Orchard', which really defines the style for me) before launching in to the true crashy, driving Julia-esque sound. At times the vocals remind me somewhat of Sunny Day Real Estate, which is sailing a bit close to the wind for my tastes (although if Jeremy Enigk was actually in this band, please tell me... I really don't have a clue!), but on the whole this is a really solid, enjoyable record. If you like music that's fraught, emotive, dynamic, poignant and hardcore, this must surely be for you...
Lumber - s/t
Here is the original ROAWR! post, and if you haven't heard of Julia, don't worry, there's still hope! - listen/buy : kissmysoundsystem / Interpunk. And finally, if anyone has any information on Lumber, myself and dan would very much like to hear it. As you can see, I don't even have any sleeve artwork... if you have, say, a scan or a photograph, I would be very grateful... my email is on the sidebar. Cheers!)