Leigh MichaelThursday,10 October 2013

The Snap:

Brothers Matthew, Mark, and Michael Cook comprise The Ceremonies, a band built heaving upon 80s post-punk influences. They just released their first self-titled EP, which features five original songs. In describing the mindset behind the album, the brothers explained, “The songs are about maintaining the perspective of a child in the adult world… If we can inspire other people to hold onto that appreciation for things that go unnoticed, it would be huge for us.”

You can grab the EP on iTunes, and stream their songs via SoundCloud.

The Download:

I like a lot of things about this band. I like their revival of the 80s post-punk movement, and I like their reflective lyrics. I like that they pair these words with lively, infectious instrumentals. I think it’s neat that the three members are brothers, and that the oldest one is barely 21. They’re fresh-faced and new and have a world of potential.

On their website, the trio gives a little mission statement: “WE ARE THREE BROTHERS WHO METICULOUSLY MAKE MUSIC WITH MEANING.” And, in that regard, they’ve definitely achieved their goal. Each song is treated to expressive lyrics that, frankly, outshine the vocals and instrumentals. If you take a gander at their poetic lines, I have a sneaking suspicion that you’ll find even more value in each song. It’s refreshing to see a newcomer to the industry give such care to every aspect of the song; lyrics are the core of each piece, and too often they’re sorely neglected (ahem, Miley Cyrus).

And now, for the (constructive) criticism. Their music rocks — literally — and feels like a modernized take on The Cure or The Smiths. “Wolfdance” and “Ballroom Bones” were particular favorites, melding a thoughtful perspective with energized instrumentals. But I do want to resist the urge to give an exasperated bleh when I read this: “Our shows aren’t just concerts, but something much more special — where people can go not only to watch our performance but also to have an impactful experience. That’s why we call ourselves The Ceremonies. We’ve created a sense of communion through music. Ceremonies can be both positive or negative. Ceremonies are held for someone’s funeral or wedding; they are all-encompassing gatherings about engaging with emotion.”

Yada, yada, yada.

Maybe I should be a little more open-minded, and maybe there’s a backbone of sincerity to what they’re saying. But to me, it just sounds a lot more like bullshit.  And I feel like a lot of new bands get caught up in the image of their band, rather than the reality of it. Here’s to hoping they continue to make kick-ass music… And don’t get lost in the facade stuff.

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Hat Tips:

Atom Factory, Facebook, The Ceremonies, Image Credit: Flickr

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