The local, Boston-based hardcore outfit Cerce recently released their latest album:
A 14-minute, fast-paced, punch in the face. The female-fronted powerviolence band have been around for a few years, and have been touring all around New England and the East Coast. This 7 inch is by far the most powerful thing they’ve done so far, though.
The opening track, “Mare,” is basically just noise, laden with feedback, a seemingly lackluster opener for what is potentially the best EP of 2012. The second “Mare” ends, pounding drums kick in immediately for the second track “Weary,” with lyrics so in your face that you can feel the feminism oozing off of this socially conscious band. “Don’t you dare fucking tell me that you’re pretty!” screams the vocalist, accusing the subject of the song to be an “indecisive fucking liar,” with each word cutting deep as if they were meant just for you. You little shit. This powerful track ends with a breakdown which I was lucky enough to witness live at the Democracy Center in Cambridge.
The next notable track, “Concussion,” starts off slow, with weary vocals, which then turn to screamed. The majority of the song consists of the heavy bass accompanied by pounding drums, and the once again powerful lyrics like “Weak body, damaged brain!” All the while feedback is being provided in the back. While all this screechy dissonance sounds tough, it matches the music so well, linked with her making satiric remarks of “Find me a better drug, drug me, I’m dependent, I can’t function on my own!”
Cerce is a great band because they take the typical MVHC (Merrimack Valley Hardcore, for those who don’t live around here) formula and turn it upside down, putting their own unique spin on it. They have all the noisy feedback, fast drums, breakdowns, and screeched vocals, but everything they do is done far better than most bands could pull of, and seems perfected past the typical horrid local band.
While they haven’t necessarily “matured” much from past releases, such as Teen Bible, the differences are there. Even the use of delay pedals to create dissonant effects at the end of tracks like “Choices” are a step in an experimental direction, while still remaining hardcore at their roots. The only two tracks that feel slightly like filler are “Mare” and “Libel,” the shortest tracks. They’re lacking the same power and strong stance the rest of the short album has. Even then, they’re still great songs. Everything about the Cerce 7-inch is headed in the right direction.
You can listen to the entire 7-inch, as well as the rest of their discography at their bandcamp (cerce.bandcamp.com), but the only way to experience the real Cerce is going to one of their live shows. The amount of energy in the room is unbelievable. Not only that, but I got to talk to one of their guitarists (who is edge) as well as their singer, and they were both wonderfully nice people. Go to their shows, buy a patch, get a “Fuck pop-punk, defend feminism” shirt, and support this band!
Strongest Tracks: “Weary,” “Concussion,” and “Choices.”