Singing about sad things and pulling heartstrings.
Melbourne-based rock band Ceres seized popularity locally, performing small shows to build a foundation and make a name for themselves. Since then, the rock influencers have managed to release two studio albums along with their third, We Are A Team, a refreshed take on Ceres’ music.
From dark and despondent lyrics to a love propelled narrative; Ceres flips their precious album Drag It Down To You on its head; delivering an album that encapsulates feel-good pop rock. With a single inspired from a visit to a framing shop in Abbotsford, Tom Lanyon raises spirits and touches hearts with his powerful songwriting. We are a team, can be described as an ode to love and marks a new direction for Lanyon and Ceres as a collective. Admittedly, it’s a different path for the band, however, Ceres still manage to grasp onto their recognisable sound, a delight for older listeners as well as a pleasant surprise for new fans. The albums lyrical subject is without doubt, Lanyon’s partner, to which clearly sparked a fair share of sentiment within each individual song respectively. Having found this new inspiration, it has not only changed the lead frontman but the entire band as a whole, bringing a new vibrancy and making their work brighter.
Marriage gives Lanyon a chance to proclaim his pursuit to ‘get happy,’ singing about a proposal. The opener is a mellow and subdued, which builds into a striking mixture of heavy guitar riffs and percussion. The song is a healthy balance of solemness and grandeur. The song itself marks a shift in their theme of songwriting as well as effectively summing up the album as a whole. Me & You, the albums single, is an excellence showcase of the outfits ability to execute and deliver promising rock/indie anthems. As an artist and lead vocalist, Tom Lanyon is what ties everything together. His talents cannot be commended enough. Possessing the ability to lull the listener as well as chanting his inner most feelings at the top of his lungs, it is nonetheless impressive.
The album grasped many opportunities to shine and it has paid off. Dancing Patterns features a groovy guitar riff that will have you up on your feet. The track follows the common theme behind Tom’s quest for marriage, and that he wishes to “die a happy man.” Unlike past projects from Ceres, We Are A Team isn’t fueled by anxiety or pessimism, but rather fueled by passion and hope. Elsewhere, “I Feel Better Outside,” is another the 6-minute . I think what makes this album great is that Ceres have tapped into a theme that presents the group as purely human, accentuating the real emotion behind songwriters. Personally, I think a vast majority of music being released lacks this characteristic, shying away from authenticity; making Ceres as an outfit so damn attractive.
The band reaches a pinnacle with their single Viv in the Front Seat, a love-affirming track that looks to the unfolding of what lies before you. In memory of the late father, Viv, the the album’s lead single is a perfect honorary sendoff. I think this was an amazing single, and does receive the love that is due. On a different tangent “Collarbone, 2011” is a track that strives to meet fans’ best interests. The track itself is a extension or reinvention of past work seen in Upwey, Tacoma, Belgrave, the bands debut studio EP. A fantastic addition to the album as a whole, possibly out strengthening most tracks on the album.
Despite the band’s charm and allure, the album is not flawless. At certain times during my listening experiences, the contrast in lyrics was obvious. Starting strong and ending drab, by the end of the album the it is as though the lyrical well had dried up. Water the Garden features a stripped-down moment in the LP, while encapsulating a firm instrumental. Despite the musical execution, the songwriting is confusing and lacks deeper meaning. What is interesting about the album is a clear duality between the different meanings behind the music featured on the LP. From uplifting indie love-yearning jams, to a more mature approach to relationships, it leaves the album in a state of inconsistency. I think at certain points, Lanyon fails to meet fan expectation by attempting to be more experimental with his music, although it is safe to say it has not exactly paid off in the end. Nonetheless, simplicity does strengthen sentimental emotion and that is exactly seen with this piece of music. We Are A Team is a polished result of hard work and newfound happiness. Despite being messy at some stages, Ceres still remain very under appreciated.