Music

Ceremony, The L-Shaped Man

todayJune 25, 2015

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By Westin Boland
Music Reviewer

Ceremony, the l-shaped man
Photo via matablog.matadorrecords.com

Artist: Ceremony
Album: The L Shaped Man
Label: Matador
Release Date: 5/19/2015
Website: http://ceremonyhc.com/

The L Shaped Man detours sharply from Ceremony’s earlier work and continues in the same direction of their previous 2012 record, Zoo. Decidedly deeper and more brooding than Rohnert Park or Violence Violence, Ceremony gives a fuller, more fleshed out sound. The group’s hardcore roots still serve as the foundation for the punk spirit of album, and combined with the bleak and tortuous lyrics triggered by singer Ross Ferrar’s recent breakup it creates a tone of melancholy and relatable bleakness. Okay, relatable bleakness sounds, well bleak, but gloomy albums are enduring! Noticeable from the onset, Ferrar elegantly describes the initial desolate feeling of being broken up with and being haunted by reminders of that relationship with the lines:

“You have to tell yourself you tried/the pain will pass in the night/ Memories return in the light.”

From an outsider’s perspective, it would seem Ceremony has chartered a new direction towards cultivating more of a Post-Punk flavor. Not that this album is a thirty six minute long bummer by any stretch – I can definitely see fans of Ceremony’s early work accepting this as the group’s natural progression towards a maturation of their overall tone and sound. That’s not to say the group has abandoned their hardcore origins, frenetic yet precise drums arrangements on “Bleeder” and “Root of the World” perfectly fuse with Anthony Anzaldo’s now unearthly almost surf-punk lead guitar. L Shaped Man draws heavily from the instantly recognizable bands of Post-Punk, that does not necessarily mean they sold-out or abandoned their original fans. Zoo was definitely a baby step and L Man was certainly bolder but they put their own stamp on it. I’m excited to see what direction they go from here. Besides, who even cares if Ceremony goes mainstream? That would be a blessing to stale alternative radio play-lists everywhere.

Go into this album with the expectation of New Order or Joy Division as opposed to the Adicts and you will not be disappointed. Every track feels better than the last but the essentials have to be “Exit Fears,” “Bleeder,” “Your Life in France”, “The Understanding,” and “The Bridge” This may not be the feel good album of the Summer, but it just might become your next go to breakup album.

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todayJune 25, 2015

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