Long live Factory Records. Lost and boarded up years ago, with its founder now passed away, the label and its influence still profoundly affects today’s music scene. The success of modern post-punk – ripping Joy Division off to the point of offense – is a direct nod to Factory and its rock ‘n’ roll mythos. Virginia’s noise rock outfit Ceremony – the title must be a subtle reference to the classic Joy Division/New Order song – takes the catchy interplay of Factory music and uses it in a messy, distorted wall of sound which ends up being like a breeding between Peter Hook’s melodic bass lines and Jesus and Mary Chains’ droning guitars. And somewhere in this sonic landscape is a strong melody, which stripped of its shoegaze surroundings, is actually a perfect pop song.

Ceremony’s full length is titled Rocket Fire and carries the listener through ten tracks that are chock full of strong melodies and strained chords. Upon first listen it’s hard to reach the great singing, because you really can’t get past the blasting guitar, but the moment you manage to pick out the vocal delivery you’re completely hooked.

To anyone who thought Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy was a masterpiece – which it totally was – checking out Ceremony is a must. Rocket Fire is a fairly snappy record and easy to listen to all the way through, but the best tracks are “Breaking Up”, “Maryanne” and “Someday”; the latter mention being an ingenious balance between extreme noise and delicate indie rock.

The only downside to Ceremony is that it’s a two piece, which relies upon a drum machine for percussion. It’s telling that Ceremony still manages to produce some great tunes, but a live drummer would definitely add an extra element.  [ END ]

Track Listing:

01. Stars Fall
02. Never Make You Cry
03. Breaking Up
04. For Her Smile
05. Marianne
06. Silhouette
07. Don’t Leave Me Behind
08. Someday
09. It’s Too Late
10. Regret

Run Time: 34:25
Release Date: 04.27.2010