Review Summary: Never mind the bollocks...here's ceremony.8 of 8 thought this review was well written
The San Francisco Bay Area punks known as Ceremony have spent their whole career making it clear that they're a force to be reckoned with in the hardcore scene. Since forming in 2005 the band has churned out an impressive catalog of no holds barred fury in the vein of iconic forefathers like Black Flag and Minor Threat. The new golden boys who took it back to where it all began met critical acclaim wherever mentioned as their reputation grew to become the stuff of legend. Armed with sharp wit and vicious demeanor, the group commanded attention by tackling controversy with a righteous middle finger in the air to the status quo of christian establishments.
In between EPs piling up, Ceremony released the heavy hitting full-lengths Violence Violence
and Still Nothing Moves You
in a matter of two short years, spreading the gospel to anxious venues all around the globe. Then when everyone thought they had a tight grip on assured expectations the band would always deliver unforgiving anarchy, Rohnert Park
threw a curve ball. It wasn't by any stretch an abysmal album but it certainly sent shock waves that perhaps Ceremony got the urge to be something more than just a comparative figure of the past. It turned out to be the case but unfortunately that desire was to rather wind back the clock another decade.
On the fourth and latest LP, entitled Zoo
, we have apparently time warped to the posh stomping grounds of England circa 1977. I'm sure it sounds farfetched or like I'm having a go at you but this baffling direction is the path taken. Vanished are the coarse snarls of fiercely pitched vocals and the pulsating onslaught of sonic rhythms from the other musicians. Instead, what's been replaced is a tediously boring display of an American attempting a distorted British accent, at a droning pace, over bland instrumentation that resembles a poor man's Buzzcocks if trashed. The lack of energy that's put into each track from these former stark raving lunatics is so unfathomable.
When a band spends so much effort embedding the idea that they're the second coming of the 80's movement, only to renounce it, they better expect those eagerly gnawing at the bit to crave a game changer. Needless to say, this is a complete role reversal of what could've been a daring move into unexplored territory but Ceremony decided to regress, in every avenue imaginable, into an era no one wanted to see them visit. There's absolutely nothing commendable about taking a fools chance on an unoriginal and outdated copy with no gusto. Declare whatever ill will you may have for the reincarnations of yore but at least their end results felt truly genuine.