Ceremony are the rarest kind of band in the modern hardcore scene, still very much rooted by their influences and playing in the 1980s, while showing the signs of a fresh, contemporary influence. From Violence, Violence to Still Nothing Moves You and more recently the Rohnert Park LP, and everything inbetween, Ceremony have become a constantly progressing band that will do what they want and not care if people like it. From the outtakes of the Rohnert Park LP comes 6 Covers, which is pretty much what the name suggests, 6 covers of bands that have influenced Ceremony and made them the band they are today.
The songs covered have been chosen well, ever changing and constantly throwing the listener off course. From the punk rock tones of Wire, Eddie And The Subtitles and Crisis, to the harder, faster stylings of Vile and Urban Waste, right back to the alt rock suprise inclusion of a Pixies song, this record is perfect in everything from the covers choices, to the playing.
The band havn’t gone down the boring and too familiar route of pretty much re-writing the songs to suit their style, they’ve respected the original songs and beautifully adapted them to sound like Ceremony, while keeping what made the original song a classic in the first place.
Songs like Public Opinion and 5 To 10 didn’t need much tweaking and pruning to suit Ceremony as they’re both quite fast, hardcore songs, but the band have still managed to make both songs sound harder and faster. I’ll take a leap and say that Nimrod’s Son has taken the most work to adapt, as the lead is played on an acoustic guitar, and it’s a Pixies song. That said, Ceremony have managed to adapt it perfectly, keeping the abrasive nature of their own music, but mixing it with the softer, alternative and indie style of The Pixies.
The vocals in particular on this EP are outstanding, there’s a perfect mix of the angry, shouted Ceremony vocals, but there’s also some muddy clean vocals, creating a mix that echoes and plays with the progression on their style in the Rohnert Park LP. The hissing aggression of the guitars on past releases has been toned down, and there’s a wonderful punky tone that bursts through your speakers. The drums are fast and angry, beating the shit out of the covers while staying faithful to the original material, the bass is beautifully played, a lot of these songs have dangerously cool bass-lines that are adapted and presented perfectly.
All in all, this is an amazing covers EP that shines and impresses throughout, with no weak link and no passing thoughts that a cover could have been adapted better. Ceremony don’t do half arsed releases, and this is another reminder to why they are considered one of the best hardcore bands in the world right now. From their intense and energetic stage shows (They are a band everyone needs to see before they die), to their perfect releases, this band will continue to progress until they are the best hardcore band in the world.
(written by Charlie N.)
Thanks for reading!