You’d wish you’d heard about these LA lads sooner, with their self-titled EP working up a storm. The Ceremonies consist of Cook brothers Matthew (22), and twin brothers Michael and Mark (19), a bunch of talented multi-instrumentalist art students. Managed by Lady Gaga’s own Troy Carter, The Ceremonies are also currently MTV’s Artist To Watch. Listing their biggest influences as post-punk 80s pinoeers Echo & The Bunnymen, The Smiths, and The Cure, their mature taste in music is definitely reflected in their debut EP, released through Atom Factory Music. A 5-track EP may not seem like a big deal, but you’ll understand exactly why these boys are already highly sought after when you give The Ceremonies a listen.
Wolf Dance starts us off with the prominent bass line playing along with the synths that gives off a strong 80s sound. When the vocals kick in you definitely sense Morrisey and Robert Smiths’s influence, and by the time you get to the chorus you won’t be able to help but hum or sing along. This is a song that would get crowds singing and waving their arms, and such projection is what The Ceremonies are known for. Their sound is larger than life.
We first heard of the band through their single Land Of Gathering, and their big sound is displayed perfectly in the song. If the booming beat of the drums don’t get you off your feet in the beginning of the track, the roaring chorus is sure to sweep you off your feet. But what really catches my attention is the song’s cinematic sound. They combine simple beats, layered vocals with little intricacies like the horns going off in the background to the drizzling effect of chimes. You get an entire musical experience in just 5 minutes, and if that’s all it takes to create a fulfilling piece, then these boys are really talented.
The Cook brother’s don’t do just simple, and their musical prowess is continually showcased in their EP all the way to the end. From the bluesy melody of the brass in Straw Hat, to the beautifully arranged vocals in Ballroom Bones, The Ceremonies fill their music with as much as they can. It feels like the EP has ended too soon when the last track suddenly comes along. Night Light finishes strong, providing the listener with yet another soaring chorus that won’t be leaving their head for a while.
There is a lot, maybe even too much, potential in The Ceremonies. The sound they’ve established is refreshing and clever, but now the standard is set for these art students, hopefully they can live up to the enormous sound they have created.