New Stuff


  • Gary Suarez

Ceremony Hysteria ZooWhen compelling hardcore act Ceremony left Bridge Nine for mega-indie Matador, many people wondered if that move signaled further changes in the band’s sound. (Upon their signing to the label, I pondered right here on this blog if hardcore wasn’t on destined to be the indie trend of 2012.) After all, 2010’s critically-acclaimed Rohnert Park didn’t adhere to any rigid genre templates and introduced the Californians to a whole new listenership. Last year, Matador labelmates Fucked Up–the imprint’s other hardcore act–put out a record that was nothing short of a rock opera, so clearly Ceremony had an opportunity to take their sound someplace very different.

Well, we needn’t wonder no more, as Matador has just debuted “Hysteria,” the first single off Ceremony’s forthcoming LP Zoo. Akin to early Public Image Limited with a chorus Kurt Cobain might have written in the early 90s, there are barely traces of the old aggressive Violence Violence style–not that anyone expected such a return. Instead, Ceremony have taken the accessibility of Rohnert Park and made it even more catchy and sing-songy. Lest you worry they’ve completely abandoned hardcore (which, umm, they kinda have), some Social Distortion-esque gang vocals make an appearance towards the end to soften the blow. But let’s face it, ever since frontman Ross Farrar declared he was “sick of Black Flag, sick of Cro-Mags” we knew deep down what to expect. Personally, I love the Ceremony that has emerged over the past two years, and I anticipate–with Matador’s marketing muscle–Zoo will bring them scores of new fans. This shit is good. Listen for yourself!

The Hysteria b/w I’m A Bug (Urinals cover) 7″ is out now, and pre-orders for Zoo and a second 7″ single Adult b/w Start Over are open now, with some cool bundles for the collectors and completists. Also, there is apparently some sort of “special NYC event” coming in February. I’m just speculating here, but maybe it’ll be an all ages show at the Bronx Zoo… Get it? Huh? Bronx Zoo? Sheesh, tough crowd…


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