Ceremony's website offers visitors this adorably Luddite message: "We do not have a Twitter, MySpace or Facebook." Indeed, interpersonal connection does not seem to come easy for this Bay Area hardcore punk band: "It's getting hard... to stay human," frontman Ross Farrar hollers on the group's first LP for Matador Records. Previous Ceremony discs were dervish blurs of nail-gun thrash. On Zoo, Ceremony obliterate more discriminately, recalling the post-punk of Joy Division, the Fall and Wire – if those bands had spent more time in weight rooms than art galleries. Farrar's vein-popping rants stick with you because they're so refreshingly pure-hearted: "I caught the world flu/I saw the world blue," he self-diagnoses. It's hard to resist the urge to barf along.
Listen to "Hysteria":
• Photos: Random Notes