Review: Ceres – Drag It Down On You
Drag It Down On You
Melbourne indie-rock/emo outfit Ceres have finally unveiled their second full length effort, the uncomfortably titled Drag It Down On You – record that chronicles the two year space between album releases in an overall picture that is as bold and optimistic as it is somber and withering. With help from Tom Bromley of Welsh band Los Campesinos! at the production helm, the band have beautifully captured not just a bunch of very rich, warm guitar tones and drum sounds, but have managed to encapsulate an overall mood which sets the course for the entire record perfectly. Musically, everything sits exactly where it needs to, offering perfectly placed backdrop of minimalist riffs and a disciplined, but rock solid rhythm section that gracefully carries each song home like a sleeping teenager who’s had too much to drink.
As can be expected from listening to the band’s older works (see 2014’s I Don’t Want To Be Anywhere But Here), vocalist Tom Lanyon opens up a wide, albeit grubby window into the inner-workings of his mind. Lyrically, Lanyon confronts the record’s nostalgic come melancholic subject matter in a sickly-sweet manner almost as interesting and awkward as sitting next to a bickering couple at a restaurant. This self-fulfilling come self-deprecating openness might just be the aspect of the overall Ceres package that may serve as a deterrent to first time listeners of the band and gospel to others, but that all depends on what you’re into. This divisiveness is by no means a bad thing though; some of the best bands are the ones that you and your friends disagree on!
Tracks like “Choke”, and album closer “Baby’s Breath” show off Ceres’ fondness for swaying fluently between quieter moments and big climactic build ups, where Lanyon’s vocals dance between a vulnerable quiver to a confident raspy wail where he is his best, and the latter sees him singing with an unwavering conviction that will no doubt rub off on packed venues of admirers who will scream his every word back at him. But it’s tunes such as banger “Loaf” or the more subdued “Roll Ur Eyes” where the group excel in their knack for writing the kind of effortless pop-rock hooks that will be stuck in your head for weeks, whether you like it or not.
Though a hit of Get-Up Kids or early Jimmy Eat World influence still lingers about, this is a record that you can place on the same shelf as Australian indie-rock bands such as Motor Ace, Kisschasy or Something For Kate. Bands to whom Ceres will follow suit, cutting ties with previous comparatives and contemporaries, and connecting with a broader audience by kicking them all in the chest with relatively simple, straight forward, yet intricately crafted rock songs to great effect.