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Album Review: Ceres – Drag It Down On You

3 min read

Rewarding Australian music fans in 2016, Ceres, the band of four from Melbourne roaringly showcase a heaving pot of warm, charismatic and honest reflections. Drag It Down On You is the band’s second record following their 2014 debut album; I Don’t Want To Be Anywhere But Here. The record isn’t a complete deviation from the sound most recognise them for, though it impressively captures the talent drenched achievements the quartet are capable of. The end result is the workings of polished and raw songwriting both careful and courteous.

Ceres - Drag It Down On YouDrag It Down On You begins with Okay, lending a hand to tender guitar plucks as they weave their way into Tom Lanyon’s husk voicings. Following closely is Happy In Your Head as it elaboratively whirls stadium rock feelings, trickling additions of melancholic instrumentation, and crashing cymbals as Lanyon spills heartfelt wails throughout the suitable lyrics. “Kiss your forehead, I’m in love. Happy Birthday”, he croons. The alternative 90’s emo visits are particularly evident, though not as heavy set to entirely sway the direction of the album’s overall creative result. The pleasantry lies within the Australian vocal expressions which somehow incorporate into a justified fit with the band’s energetic instrumentation. This is significant in ’91 Your House – a trippy nostalgic ear-worm that manifests underneath frisky drum playing and a subtle, organic visit from the bass, rhythm and lead guitar jewels. An unquestioned sonic enthusiasm reaches from within the band’s inevitable need to play their music. This is heard especially in the stop and start ventures caught throughout the distort tumbles in Laundry Echo – harnessing a momentum that shifts moods but maintains a clean yet gritty groove. As quick as a heavy guitar induced focus comes, it soon goes with the slower ballad love songs on the record. Spinning Wheel is a mild notch away from punk, respectful to the mid-noughties indie sound championed by bands like Foals or The Futureheads. There’s a sizable amount of meticulous emotional groundwork that Ceres have withdrawn to record this album. Playing to their advantage, this steadily enables them to establish a noble sound signature. Loner Blood, though a short track, props up as a dreamy, echoed chunk of gold – promptly summoning a hum-along reaction from the listener. Then there’s the punk rock, wistfulness above the well-executed cohesion in Loaf, justly followed by the record’s closing number, Baby’s Breath. Fast percussive crashes and active guitar grumbles again perpetuate enough flow throughout the track, winding regally from the intense and honest vocal underpinnings.

Drag It Down You showcases the dynamic qualities that Ceres have firmly cultivated since the band’s recent uprise. Moderate at times, and heavy in most, the overall creative outcome excavates a sustained yet roaring musical spirit. It is perhaps clinging to these properties that have justifiably allowed the band to undeviatingly develop their sound, leaving enough leeway to effectively represent the initial flair and foundational attributes held dear to their overall musical image.