The poor recording on Standing on Ceremony, with dry, too-present vocals and undefined low mids, really hampers Red Eye Nine's interesting post-punk music. Ultimately, it seems that the band rushed this record to completion, which is unfortunate because there is some excellent raw material here, such as the off-kilter opening riff to "The Joy of It," the bit of fellow Boston band the Sheila Divine's emo-pop in the surprisingly effective "Cut of the Stone," or the almost Rush-esque drum grooves in "Evaporate." The latter features drummer Fernando Medina, whose presence on three tracks on Standing on Ceremony marks songs that are far superior to the other eight on this record in terms of both sound and performance. Replacement drummer Dan Gold is a fine player, but on Standing on Ceremony he sounds awkward and slightly confused, nothing like the sophisticated player he proved himself to be in Red Eye Nine's later live shows. Eric Waxwood's unusually voiced guitar chords would be better suited with stronger guitar tones, as his sound is far too weak to carry these songs with the proper energy level. Additionally, with the exception of the three Medina songs, his vocals are quite unconvincing. Although frustratingly uneven, Standing on Ceremony does have some very nice moments indeed, and it is too bad that the last and best incarnation of the band, consisting of Waxwood, Gold, and bassist Brian Church, never got the chance to gift us with a recording.
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