Ceremony ‘Zoo’ (Matador)
Although it’s not their debut album, this is Ceremony’s first album on the legendary indie label Matador, which will no doubt give their presence an important boost.
Ceremony can definitely be described as punk, although what kind of punk is harder to pin down. Not so much posturing, but certainly maximum riffage. More American than British (as you’d probably expect from a band from California) although one that seems to owe as much to the approach that Wire took on their first album as to American hardcore. One that does not follow the kiddie-punk model, without being po-faced.
Oh, and lots of songs. As you’d hope. Songs to mosh and jump up and down to like ‘Adult,’ ‘Hysteria’ and ‘Ordinary People’ with some more atmospheric numbers like ‘Hotel’ and ‘Nosebleed.’ Now, I’m going to have to hold a hand up here and confess that I hadn’t heard Ceremony (to the best of my knowledge) before Zoo came out. So, invariably there will be those who can point to the ways in which they have changed, and whether that’s for better or worse. For a face value approach though, this is a strong, solid album. Not ground-breaking, but proof that punk certainly isn’t generic, if you really needed that pointing out to you.
Zoo is out now on Matador.