NO CEREMONY/// album review


Download: No Ceremony///

Who are NO CEREMONY///?
We’re still not quite sure. They’ve famously kept the details to a minimum in order to build up a bit of mystery. The veil of secrecy has started to drop now though – we know there’s three of them, we know they’re from Manchester and we now know their first names: Kelly, James and Victoria. That’s it in terms of backstory, but the most important thing about NO CEREMONY/// is that they know how to put together exciting and vital-sounding pop songs – previous releases ‘HEARTBREAKER’, ‘HOLDONME’, ‘FEELSOLOW’ and ‘HURTLOVE’ showed us that.

What do I need to know about NO CEREMONY/// (the album)
It’s out on 2 September via their own label NOC/// and features guest spots from Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago (on ‘HEARTBREAKER’) and singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow (on ‘AWAYFROMHERE’).

What’s good about it?
Their early single releases were notable mostly for being visceral and rough round the edges. On the album, though, NO CEREMONY/// have gone for smooth and glossy production, which replaces some of the urgency and heart-stopping brilliance from their sound with lush and exquisite textures. It’s a good move, as it enables them to include beautiful and tender tracks like ‘WARSONGS’ and ‘AWAYFROMHERE’ – tracks that didn’t seem possible from NO CEREMONY/// when they first arrived last year.

The album still has its moments of pounding electro brilliance though. ‘HEARTBREAKER’ is a muscular and abrasive stomper, ‘FEELSOLOW’ builds from a delicate chiming piano intro into a sweeping and majestic floor-filler and ‘PARTOFME’ is a restless and sumptuous electro-ballad. The pick of the bunch is ‘HOLDONME’, which has been transformed into a pulsing trance banger.

What’s not so good?
There’s no obvious bad points to NO CEREMONY/// to be honest. At just over half an hour it’s a bit on the short side – but leaving you wanting more is rarely a bad thing. The slick production also feels a bit too glossy and honed in some places, leaving you itching for a bit more punch and vibrancy – particularly on ‘DELIVERUS’.

It’s not often you hear a debut album so accomplished and complete as NO CEREMONY///. This is electro-pop at its spell-binding, hypnotic and seductive best.

Download: No Ceremony///

Post Author: Luke Glassford

All-Noise was founded in 2010 with just one simple aim – to highlight and celebrate ‘proper music’, made by real people with real musical inspirations.