Based in Manchester, No Ceremony is an abstract electronica trio whom believe in big piano chords and heavily processed vocals. Their self entitled 2013 album contains nine tracks that set a unique and awkward minimalist electronic tone that feels bigger than the sum of its parts.
Opener “Hurtlove” feeds from a three reverb drenched piano chords, a drum beat and chipmunk vocal that sounds like it’s being chewed up in a tape machine. It’s strange, alien and entrancing – a curious way to start an album. “FeelSoLow” follows a similar pattern but is more akin to The Knife with its low fi percussive pulse and layers of male and female sounding vocals. After half a song of build up it bursts into a trance dancefloor filler complete with Knife styled vocal delivery. Its one of the most accessible tracks on the album is a great place to start with the duo.
“Heartbreaker” is my favourite track of the album as it’s where the album feels the thickest with its heavy grizzly bass lines, electric guitar melodies and thumping kick beats. “Warsongs” is the first track to take things slower and smoother as the drum machine plucks out snares from all walks of life as the piano and vocal montage sound almost like a choir. The chorus has a overworldly feel when the swimmy acoustic guitar joins in too. “AwayFromHere” (yes there is no spacing in any of the song names) is a warped take on chill out with wispy falsetto male vocals fluttering over the slow-moving guitar and piano chords. It sounds like a misty cloudscape.
“HoldOnMe” reminds me of late 80’s vocoder soul in many ways. The vocals feel like they are doing a voicebox workout with all the effects and the track itself doesn’t really take you over with its melody – it’s more of a two chord back and forth that grows from minimal to full fat synth track by the end. “PartOfMe” on the other hand is epic – like a more bass driven Lamb track. It has the huge drums, big bass, rolling piano and plenty of reverb to swirl around you and give you a feeling of a giant. It’s an album stand out. “Deliver Us” then settles us down with a folksy angelic daze that pushes the vocal effects to the front of the mix and lets the guitar echo out behind itself. The drums burst in half way through to change the tracks mood into something far more epic and grande and the outro half is a satisfying guitar and vocal ad lib. The album then closes with “HeavyHour” which is the most band orientated the album actually becomes to sounding like an actual rock band. This is because you’ve all the typical instruments and the synths are packed away yet everything still has a light and airy production so it doesn’t feel like a rock band properly.
“No Ceremony” certainly isn’t for everyone but its undeniable that they have clicked on a certain sound. People complain on how The Go Team! have a vintage production as their trademark and they’d wish they’d change it up. If they did it wouldn’t be The Go Team! and from this production, the same can be said for No Ceremony. A unique train in electro rock.