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The L-Shaped Man

Ex-hardcore band’s promising move toward post-punk fizzles

Ceremony

Shawn Brackbill

Ceremony

Following in the footsteps of acts like Interpol and Editors, the latest band to mine the dour moods of Joy Division is a group of reformed hardcore-punk squawkers. Unfortunately, the latest LP by Ceremony — who dabbled successfully in Strokes-style rock on 2012’s excellent Zoo — is stifled by too much restraint. With the exception of the spirited, post-hardcore rager “Root of the World,” The L-Shaped Man falls flat in its Ian Curtis worship from its piano-ornamented intro, “Hibernation” (sleep-inducing indeed), to its bummer end cut, “The Understanding.” Most ominous is the record’s final lyric, “Baby, say that it’s over.” Please.

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