REVIEW: Ceremony – “Zoo”


[Mar. 6th 2012 – Matador Records // Find it at: Insound | iTunes]

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In this day and age, hardcore isn’t a new thing. It’s not a style that’s so foreign to parents they threaten their children with wooden spoons to turn that god forsaken noise down and fire back with Neil Diamond’s Greatest Hits. Instead, it’s a sound that’s been pushed farther and farther into the heart of listeners that Bay Area rockers Ceremony have had to alter and magnify their style with Zoo just to stay relevant, not alive. It’s in this first attempt for Matador Records, that they’ve waved goodbye to their violent ways to script out hardcore that’s accessible, venturing into the deep end of garage punk ripped out of the history of its birthplace in the UK. It’s at times Pixies-meet-Pink Floyd (“Brace Yourself”) and melodic depressive (“Hotel”), but the main tip to the record is it’s striking resemblance to urgency the Sex Pistols breathed into songs when Glen Matlock still slapped the bass (“Quarantine”, “Ordinary People”). That striking feat is the see-saw of Zoo. Fans without a conscious will tear apart their room, up in arms, while others will actually see the gorgeous rhythm and hook of “Nosebleed” and the Cali punk dripping “Citizen” are still Anthony Anzaldo and co. ripping out wavy ruptures while Ross Farrar screams into his mic with his shirt over his head. It may not be the return of Rohnert Park, but the feeling of liberation marks new dangerous territory.

Download: “Nosebleed”, “Ordinary People”, “Citizen”

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