Ceremony - Covers (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Covers (2011)

Bridge Nine

On the eve of their leap forward, Ceremony pauses a moment to look back. Recently it was announced that Ceremony will be leaving hardcore label Bridge Nine and moving onto indie titan Matador. A cursory reading of Punknews comments on the related article shows that fans seem to be generally interested by this transition, as Matador Records often tend to be experimental and pretty fresh, but also apprehension that, much like another forward-thinking hardcore band, Ceremony might lose some of their "meanness" as they test out weirder waters. Thankfully, as the band tears through six covers on Covers, their aloha release, it seems that their particular brand of nastiness can survive genre transition.

Although their choice of picks ranges from classic punk forefathers such as Wire's "Pink Flag" to the more restrained Pixies' "Nimrod's Son", the band retains the experimentation that those bands used as their engine, as well as the threatening edge that those groups and their ilk would suddenly flash without provocation. "Nimrod's Son" retains the Pixies' almost-country twang, but in Ceremony style, speeds up towards the end until it collapses in shambles. Likewise, their Crisis cover "Holocaust" retains the clomping tempo of '77-era punk, but adds that metallic west coast hardcore clang that the band perfected on last year's Rohnert Park.

In a way, it's almost a shame that these songs are covers, because they fit the band's oeuvre so well. While the renditions of these songs aren't always radical reinterpretations, they've been arranged so well that they don't so much sound like covers as they sound like songs Ceremony would naturally play. They've been able to hold the sinister bend behind these (sorta) classics without watering down their own sound. If this in any indication of their direction, it's looking like their next LP will be dangerous indeed.