Paul Baker and John Fedowitz have been around kicking the Shoegaze revival tip well before it became en-vogue a couple of years back. As two thirds of the criminally under-appreciated Skywave, who were already wrapping audiences in blankets of distortion while most nu gazers were first discovering that there was a whole world of fuzz beyond Loveless. Since putting Skywave to rest, bassist Oliver Akerman has gone on to form the more hard pounding and celebrated A Place to Bury Strangers, while Baker and Fedowitz have toiled in a bit more obscurity with Ceremony, a band that very much picks up where Skywave left off.
On their 3rd full length, Rocket Fire, you will find no epiphanies or broken ground but that isn’t per-say a bad thing. Ceremony, to me, have always been a band very much about celebrating and creating for a bygone era and fan, Rocket Fire cements just that. After my umpteenth spin of this record, I think I’m finally starting to grasp why Ceremony hasn’t broken through quite the way many of their fellow Nu Gazers have. Rocket Fire, like all of Ceremony’s catalog isn’t written or produced to appeal to the throngs of kids lapping up what The Big Pink or The Pains of Being Pure at Heart throw out at them; but rather those of who grew up listening to Blind Mr. Jones, Catherine Wheel and The Pale Saints. There’s absolutely no twist or “tell” so-to-speak that places Rocket Fire in this Millennium. Maybe I’m showing my age here, but songs like “For Her Smile” and “Someday” aren’t revivals of anything, they’re pure taps into the time stream of the mid-90s and that’s what makes Ceremony so enjoyable and interesting… Sure you may have heard this all before, but I bet you’ve never heard it from a band so blissfully caught out of time. And if you care and are listening carefully enough, that’s pretty revolutionary in it’s own right because earnest authenticity and strong song writing rarely fall hand in hand as we may like them to.