By Kenny McMurtrie
Quite a mix of styles in evidence here on Ceremony‘s Zoo – full on hardcore (‘Hysteria’), jangly punk (‘Citizen’, ‘Brace Yourself’) and more indie-leaning in the shape of ‘Quarantine’. Ceremony have apparently been around for a few years now as this is album number four. Maybe this will make an impact on the music buying public with the bigger promotion available through Matador. Either way the stated intent of writing more positively about life than they’ve seemingly done in the past is evident in the general tone of the whole dozen tracks.
Perhaps crucially though, even for the sake of comparison in writing this review, I’ve not been persuaded by what’s on offer here to try and check out any of the band’s three previous albums (released on Malfunction & Bridge9 just in case you’re more swayed by the new stuff). That’s not to say that this is by any means a “bad” album or even in a style that I’m not already a fan of but just that it resides in the middle third of the proving ground of taste i.e. acceptable but lacking in good enough hooks and, therefore, longevity (despite bringing to mind PiL on a number of occasions).
Historically I’d probably have given this maybe half a dozen listens and then stuck the CD in a drawer or filed the mp3s onto an external drive and forgotten about them but seeing as I’m actually writing about it that aspect of not quite discarding things, even when only taking up virtual rather than physical space, comes more into focus and the pointlessness of owning what has effectively become detritus is made more evident. This could of course just be a weak album due to a slight change in style and they may take over the world with album number 5 but I’m not going to lose any sleep over whether that’s going to happen or not.