1.5/5 stars

In a move that will surprise few, ex-powerviolence-turned-hardcore punk-turned-garage-rockers Ceremony are back and unleashing their inner Ian Curtis for this let-down of a next instalment in their discography. Taking some heavy cues from Joy Division’s monotone brand of post-punk, Ceremony have made a fatal flaw in trying to become a jack of all trades, while mastering none.

While there are some interesting parts to the music – rolling bass and drum combinations in ‘Bleeder’,guitars that set the mood well and a solid execution of that familiar Curtis style of singing – the record is plagued by poor song structure that ultimately results in an unmemorable whole. The guitar solos are weak, the semblances of instrumental build-ups peter out in disappointing choruses and the lyrics do little to inspire narrative or even fire up the listener’s imagination.

The abrasive sound that Ceremony were recognisable for pre-2010 is completely lacking in this release, begging the question why a band noted for having such a raw and powerful sound would want to attempt to recreate a style already beaten to death by bands such as Editors or Interpol’s later incarnations.

To put it bluntly, The L-Shaped Man is plain boring and inspires nothing besides disappointment.

Ceremony’sThe L-Shaped Manavailable now through Matador/Remote Control.

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