It's little surprise that the connections to A Place to Bury Strangers are so heavily made with regard to Ceremony, since the latter band's Paul Baker and John Fedowitz were both in Skywave with Oliver Ackermann. Therefore, expecting massive guitar overload, hooks, and a sense that the band probably knows every blast of feedback on Psychocandy and many sonic descendents isn't surprising at all. It's also not in the least surprising that a band with such an obviously New Order referencing name has a song clearly indebted to that group's work, with "Someday" sounding like that group's early work put through a noise pop filter. But as with so many exploring the general sound, it's what is done with the small details that can count the most. If Ceremony are still working within clear boundaries rather than staking their own turf fully even after their first initial releases, they still have an ear for great moments, such as the near bell-like chime of the guitars toward the end of "Never Make You Cry" or the blasting start of "Don't Leave Me Behind." For all the fuzz and noise, there are still moments of almost straightforward narrative -- thus "Breaking Up," a tale of love gone awry that gets clearly delivered (at least comparatively) over a more restrained arrangement. It might not be at all surprising that another example of this is also more explicitly romantic: the swooning "Marianne," with guitar on the chorus worthy of both early Lush and early Ride.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett