Ceremony – Zoo

Album Review by Ross Watson | 28 Feb 2012
  • Ceremony - Zoo
Album title: Zoo
Artist: Ceremony
Label: Matador
Release date: 5 Mar

Hysteria, the lead single from Ceremony's Matador debut, hints towards an experience far removed from the grinding power-violence of the Californian quintet's early work: the rhythm section rests a couple of notches above mid-tempo, and, most notably, vocalist Ross Farrar's pissed-off snarl is replaced with a semi-melodic auto-drawl, which – intentionally or not – cries out for comparisons to OFF!/Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris.

It's typical of most other material on Zoo, which is, according to Farrar, their “first fully comprehensive sounding record.” This is evident both in the album's thematic qualities – which mainly reflect on the ever-complicated faculties of human nature within an increasingly faceless Western world – and in its relatively uniform pacing. It's a promising set-up which is at times realised on more energetic tracks like Citizen and Community Service, but the urgent and aggressive delivery that they did so well as recently as 2010's Rohnert Park is virtually nowhere else to be heard.