Review Summary: Pack yr fists full of hate take a swing at 1984
Within the first minute of Rohnert Park
, vocalist Ross Farrar screams that he's sick of Black Flag and the Cro-Mags. An ironic statement to say the least given that the latest release from the Bridge 9 darlings trades in Ceremony's trademark brand of grindy, violent hardcore in favor of a throwback to when SST and Dischord ruled the scene. Back before Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye were household names. Back to when they were just sweaty dudes traveling around the US in run down vans trying to get to the next matinee show. Rohnert Park is Ceremony sporting their throwback jerseys. Every second of it a modern reinterpreting of hardcore punk's most classic offenders.
All of the big boys are reexamined. The opening tandem of “Into the Wayside Part 1/Sick” kicks off Rohnert Park
with their take on the hillbilly vibrato of The Dead Kennedy's copyrighted twang, a long way away from the “Pack your fists full of hate and take a swing at the word” sonic ass
-whooping of Ruined
, before it shifts into what ends up being the norm for the album as it takes a page out of Damaged
's hardcore manifesto. The rest of the “Into the Wayside” series takes daring cues from both Suicidal Tendencies and The Adolescents, with “Part 2” being the calm before the storm before the album's more violent second half begins and tears into the youthcore playbook -- making it louder, faster, and even more pissed off, all while at the same time ripping it a new ass
Even though Rohnert Park
has all been done before, punk like this hasn't been played with this much fury and abandon since its CBGB's glory days, making this homage to all of those who paved the way for bands like Ceremony as fresh sounding as humanly possible. Rohnert Park
goes beyond making a statement, it reaffirms the continued survival of punk in not only this decade, but the decade after, and the decade after that.