Sunday, March 18, 2012
You know how metal got split up into 4.8 billion micro-sub-genres? To the point that none of it was trackable, nor informative? Same thing happened to Punk rock, 10 years earlier. It became This-core, and that-core. And it lasted longer- much, much longer. It's as good a reason as any for why I'm one of the very few adult males I know still obsessed with Punk Rock. I will give all these microgenres a shot, and I'll try to report back what I can, knowing full well that most of it will be crap.
Lately, however, in the past 3 years, I've been seeing the Punk Rock diaspora starting to congeal back into something recognizable, and now, there's a record that I think truly is with the best Punk Rock going, right now- yes, Ceremony, the former Powerviolence merchants have got something to compete with Coliseum and Off! I got "Zoo" and, as with all good Punk Rock, fell immediately in love. There are garage rock and shoegaze traces, along with the odd postpunk angularity, or metal flourishes, but the main thrust is that shot of adrenachrome right to the spine that is Punk. You know that almost prickly feeling of joyous overexcitement when the best song cranks up at the show, and you're about to dive into the Pit, screaming something unintelligible? Well, maybe that's just me... But, you're far more likely to have that experience listening to this record than you will listening to the Black Keys, even if you like the Black Keys. I don't like the Black Keys, except that Pat the drummer looks like the son I don't have- I've got a son, but he was from a prior marriage, and thus looks a bit like my ex wife. Pat looks like what would result from my real wife and I having a kid, so I gotta give the guy a little bit of love, but the music is unexciting boogie rock, like Black Oak Arkansas for guys in skinny jeans, and bad beards. Ceremony, on the other hand, like Coliseum, make burly, angry stomps that are infectious as teenage angst, and lasting as childhood trauma. The songs are bitter misanthropic tirades set to shout-along chorus monsters. Like weapons, there's something simultaneously attractive and repellent about them. As a bonus, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fashion parade- There's no mohawks, tartan bumflaps or attempts to be hip. This is exactly the kind of thing that drew me into Punk Rock long enough to get called a poseur. Get this record, and make it hip, and tell me if the world ain't a better place because of it.