Forward-thinking Californian thrash-punks Ceremony are a crude, destructive throwback to the earlier days of hardcore, when it was less a touring circuit and more a hideout for the miseries of the downtrodden. They have both the wells of visceral energy needed to please purists and the ambitious, progressive bent necessary to stand out in a crowded genre.
After a few underground releases, their unpredictable and thrilling third full-length Rohnert Park was a huge evolutionary step forward for the group. The record’s slowed, sludgier dynamics and pointed riffs recalled Pink Flag-era Wire more than Black Flag, and it immediately placed them in the scene’s same critically revered, vital sphere as Pissed Jeans or Fucked Up.
Shortly after they signed to Matador Records and released March’s Zoo. It’s a lighter, more garage-y affair but carries on the same stylistic narrative; jagged, righteous and spitting with disillusioned rage at “ex-urban alienation and confinement.”
Add to your festival schedule.