It's somewhat improbable that Ceremony’s key flavors are the distinctly different tones of Joy Division and Suicidal Tendencies, but that pretty neatly sums up this Northern California outfit. Ceremony’s early work was bristling and melodic hard punk, and its previous full-length, 2010’s Rohnert Park, injected a whiff of 1979-era Manchester, England (home of Joy Division, The Fall, and an entire genre of post-punk). On Zoo, Ceremony's Matador debut, the quintet melds a fondness for melodic, old-school punk and first-wave post-punk (à la Wire, Swell Maps, Joy Division). The songs zero in on their marks with deftness and unerring precision. The urgency in the repetitive, pummeling “Hysteria,” the galloping guitar riffage of “Citizen,” and the Mancunian gloom of “Repeating the Circle” make clear the band’s intent. Shake two parts musical history—vigorously, violently—with one part brutally tidy, unsparingly disciplined ooomph and serve straight up. It’s a simple recipe for powerful, visceral, and modern punk rock music.
Repeating the Circle
I Don't Wanna Be Learned/I Don't Wanna Be Tamed (Bonus Track)