Ceres – Drag It Down On You

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Listening to Ceres made me a little bit nostalgic. Upon first impression, the rawness of their vocals and production reminded me of blink-182 with a hint of Dashboard Confessional. I could picture my 17 year old self sitting in my room reading magazines listening to these types of songs on my Walkman. Wow I really just aged myself there, didn’t I?

Ceres sounds very real. I guess some people may say that they sound unpolished – as you can vaguely hear some small pitch issues here and there, but that just adds to the honesty of their sound. This kind of sound really helps listeners feel the emotions that the vocalist is trying to convey.

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Speaking of emotion, there’s no shortage of it with this Australian band. From the moment the first note is echoed in the track Okay, to the last guitar strum in Baby’s Breath, you feel so much emotion – anger, sadness, joy – all of them. The instruments are all perfectly matched to the vocals of each song as well. The bass thumps away underneath when the singer is really expressing some strong feelings, like in Roll Your Eyes.

A few songs sound like Ceres is trying to make “emo” a thing again. Songs like 91, Your House, Choke and Happy In Your Head make me think of my studded belts and way-too-long bangs. But it’s a refreshing sound since that genre has been almost dead for the last few years. On the other hand though, they have songs like Spinning Wheel, which is only a few guitar solos away from being a rock song. It’s hard hitting and exciting. Definitely a favourite of mine from this album.

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I know I mentioned Choke before, but really it’s one of the defining songs on the album. While it is clinging to that emo/Dashboard Confessional sound, the lyrics deserve the most credit. “I know what I would do if I got you in my bedroom…I’d probably choke,” are some of the opening lines. So honest. So bleak. It’s perfect. A song about “the first time” perhaps? Or a song about finally hooking up with “The One.” Either way, it’s a great concept for a song and it’s backed with impressive guitar, bass and percussion.

All in all, this album is a refreshing little treat. It’s full of unexpected sounds and direct but clever lyrics. It might not cater to everyone’s taste, but who gives a damn? It’s nice to finally hear from a band that’s making music for themselves and not catering to the majority of North America. Ceres is staying true to their roots – sounding distinctly Australian and distinctly grungy/emo. And it’s awesome.

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