It doesn’t seem like a long stretch for me to come out in support of Ceremony; the band have always walked a fine line between post-punk and actual punk, particularly in the way singer Ross Farrar stalked the stage in the live setting. But, it took me until the second single from the band’s forthcoming new LP to really get back on the boat with the band. I love the way the vocals were recorded, sounding like they’re being shouted from another adjacent room…kind of reminds me of the Faint. The guitars definitely have that post-punk angular stab, but their repetition increases the tension, as it should. In the Spirit of the World Now will be out on August 23rd via Relapse Records.
If you listen closely, you can hear remnants of Ceremony in the opening seconds of Anthony Anzaldo‘s new single from his solo effort. But, you’ll be surprised that there’s a huge polish of pop atop the mix, carefully covering some of that post-hardcore vibe, whilst still remaining true to himself. I think the best part of his performance comes via the chorus in which his voice soars to let out “we all die alone.” He’ll be releasing his eponymous solo debut later this year, but for now you can grab this track in a limited quantity from his label First Letter Press.
Dammit. I thought I knew what to expect with a band featuring members for Ceremony and Strand of Oaks got together. But, bless me, I wasn’t ready for this incredibly stunning new song from Dark Blue to come our way. Yes, there’s a hint at the darker edges, both musically and lyrically, but I think the biggest statement this band is making is the power of great songwriting. Say what you want about varying genres and tropes, but when you put something together that combines pop sensibility with seasoned musical vets you’ve got a recipe for something that should supersede all boundaries. The band’s brand new 7″ comes your way today via 12XU.
If you’re booking gigs with the likes of The Fall, Destruction Unit and Ceremony, you’ve got to be doing something right in my book, thus why I’ve caught onto Cardiff’s Chain of Flowers. Musically, you’re ears are surrounded by a huge wall of noise, with buzzsaw guitars grinding at the front of the mix. From the back of the club, however, you can hear the vocals echoing over a pounding rhythm section. The group is set to release their self-titled debut on October 16th via Alter, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that it lives up to the promise of the early singles.
Nervosas are the latest signing for one of my favorite labels, Dirtnap Records. The Ohio act is known for crafting dark-punk, similar to where Ceremony began. On this tune, you hear the guitars spinning out of control discordantly, almost as if the band is about to fall off the train…yet they don’t, as the group uses the post-punk delivery of the vocals to pull everything together tightly. Their self-titled album will be released by the label on July 10th, and there’s already a big buzz building behind it, so sample the group’s lead single.
I’m a huge fan of Ceremony. There live show brings huge energy, with Ross constantly stalking the stage to interact with the audience. But, their recorded material has continued to impress, especially with the newest single they just released. It’s the perfect piece of post-punk, and it seems Farrar voice has settled perfectly into the mix. The video seems to take on man’s loneliness, with the possible Ian Curtis nod flashing for just an instant. The L-Shaped Man will be released on May 19th via Matador Records, and I have a feeling that this is going to bring an even larger following to the band…and based on this song alone, it will be much deserved.
I wrote about this Dark Blue a bit ago, hyping it up as a project from Ceremony and Puerto Rico Flowers (not to mention Purling Hiss, Strand of Oaks) members; I’m now permanently hooked on this new june. The vocal approach is reminiscent of some of the mid-80s post rock or post punk or just post MTV, yet the rest of the music has this brooding angst that never fully gets unleashed. Instead, they pull in some melody, letting the guitars ring in a more subdued fashion than one might expect. I’m particularly enjoying the yelps throughout the tune. Jade Tree will releases Pure Reality on October 7th!
When I first heard this track from Dark Blue, I had to go back and re-read the information I had on the group. I knew it was a super-group of sorts, so I immediately thought of Calvin Johnson; it’s not Calvin though. It’s actually just a bunch of rad dudes from rad bands like Ceremony, Paint It Black, Strand of Oaks and some others. The lyrical delivery sort of sounds like David Gedge wrote the lyrics and gave the band instructions on how to sing, although the music has it’s own power altogether. There’s distorting guitars shooting off and simple rhythmic pounding. If you like any of the nonsense I name checked here, then pick up the group’s album, Pure Reality, via Jade Tree on October 7th.
Artists are milling about. We will corner and ask awkward questions. Ceremony was nice enough to take a little time and get conversational about a great many things like grammar, Snoop, spirit animals and more Snoop.
Hit play and be entertained by words and moving pictures.