Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cermemony - Rohnert Park/Trash Talk - Eyes & Nines

California Über Alles
These two northern California bands share a lot of similarities. Interesting to note that these bands are friends to one another and a member from each group contributed in the others' latest releases. Both Ceremony and Trash Talk in their previous works combined a very fast and straightforward style very reminiscent of Infest and other groups distinctive to some modern hardcore punk today. The latest releases from both bands signifies a departure from that approach. Yet different, their favor of finding a new noise still binds their musical relationship.

From the two, Ceremony takes a huge left turn in "Rohnert Park." There is a profound difference in comparison to their earlier recordings "Violence, Violence" and "Still Nothing Moves You." From hyperspeed anger to now nostalgic homage of more classic hardcore groups from the 1980s. The stylistic changes help create catchiness and variation. While some sound like a punk in the default sense, the others including 'The Doldums (Friendly City)' feel like something out of a new wave band. Beginning song 'Sick' pays respect (and jokingly disrespects) to those bands while the constant punk beat goes on and vocalist Ross Farrar goes misanthrophic about Barrack Obama, the GOP, atheists, buddhists, and other annoyances.

Lyrically, the content is strong detailing things Farrar's stints in Main County Detention Facility in Sonoma County, California ('MCDF'), his near death experience seconds after his birth ('Back In '84'), and the dullness of growing up in the city of Rohnert Park ('The Doldrums [Friendly City]'). The clarity of his storytelling always felt enjoyable and immersive while digesting. Sure it's not exactly distinctive to other suburban kid angst content but it's all about the details.

Hours east is Sacramento where Trash Talk formed and vocalist Lee Spielman still resides. His approach in "Eyes & Nines" is more centered towards many different (and sometimes abstract) themes as opposed to personal pieces. It can range from smoking pot on Wednesday ('Hash Wednesday') to pyromania ('Explode). Lyrics in Trash Talk though is not their strongest suit but rather their assaulting manner of the vocals and instruments mixing.

It's different from their earlier releases yet have a similar feeling. Trash Talk tries out a Discharge-like d-beat approach and hell it's successful. Sans the super doomy Hash Wednesday, Eyes & Nines lasts only 12 minutes long thanks to the constantly fast and seamless transitioning of songs. The bludgeoning strikes in 'I Do' immediately continues in 'Trudge' and does the same in 'On A Fix' and the titled and ultimate track. Especially at the second half of the album, it's energy-inducing and doesn't take breaks; Trash Talk still knows how to make swift and memorable strikes.

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