Ceremony are a hardcore punk outfit hailing from Rohnert Park, California. With three studio albums behind them since the bands inception in 2005 they release ‘Zoo’, their fourth album, with a new record label- Matador Records. The move has clearly heralded a change for the band and results in ‘Zoo’ being the most comprehensive album the band has released to date.
Ceremony have clearly made a conscious decision to allow longer run times on songs to give themselves the chance to explore their abilities, both musically and lyrically. In previous albums songs ran at the one minute mark, with Zoo the longest song is – in comparison an almost Led Zepplin esc – 4.23. The expansion on track times may mean some ardent fans of hardcore punk feel the band have moved away from their roots but rather it should be seen for something altogether more exciting – a band finally beginning to become comfortable in their own skin.
The 11 track album opens with the ‘Hysteria’ and leaves the listener in no doubt about the bands origins. However as the songs move on, so does the style. ‘Brace yourself’, at 4.11, is one of the longest songs on the album. Whilst it certainly links to the bands primary style and influences, it does show that Ceremony have more than one string to their bow showing as it does a range of song speeds to create something more than just a ‘one minute thrash’. Like any band exploring themselves they still know what their ‘bread n butter’ is and with tracks like ‘Ordinary People’ and ‘Community Service’ the most ‘hardcore’ of their fans will not be disappointed by the bands new direction. A band that can combine their roots with a new direction is indeed one to keep an eye on….
Words: Brian McKay