Album Review: Ceres – Stretch Ur Skin (2017 EP)

What can I say about Ceres that hasn’t already been said – often by me? Ceres is my favourite Australian band, hands down. Their first album, I Don’t Want To Be Anywhere But Here, is one of my favourite albums of all time. Their second album, Drag It Down On You, is a melodious, cathartic, pop punk masterpiece that you definitely heard about when it came out last year.

This EP, Stretch Ur Skin, has been released to coincide with their tour with The Smith Street Band, and it features Smith Street frontman Wil Wagner on the titular single. The EP also includes a Japanese Wallpaper remix of “Loner Blood”, from Drag It Down On You.

Stretch Ur Skin is relatively short, only four songs long, and only three of those are original to the EP (“Sook” is a minute and a half long – the run time of the whole EP is very brief). Ceres can pack a lot into a small space, though, and the EP is ten minutes of straight up delight.

The best song – maybe even one of my favourite Ceres songs – is the second song, “Money”. It’s heartfelt, it’s bouncy, it’s downright danceable. In fact, it’s the core of what I love about this band. A few years ago, when the ‘emo revival’ was a thing people were saying, being lead by bands who sounded a whole lot like Ceres, I always thought that Ceres was an example of all of the best things about emo, all of the things I wanted to see revived. The way they blend raw, blatant emotion with that real sense of adolescent, drinking-in-a-playground kind of suburban joy, blending it all together and making it catchy, giving it a beat you could dance to.

“Sook” is slower, but Ceres have always had a deft hand for sad songs, and again, it’s short. The EP kind of swirls down until it ends on the soft sound of wind chimes at the end of the Japanese Wallpaper remix of “Loner Blood”, which is thoughtful and soft, a kind of melancholy vibe, like the morning after a huge, relationship-ending fight when you’ve done all your crying and yelling, and now you’re just scrubbed raw and clean and ready to move on, and the early morning light makes everything look new and clear and strange.

Ceres capture emotions that are so true and so deeply felt, it’s like the soundtrack to every great and difficult night you’ve ever had.

God, Ceres you guys. They’re so good. This EP is really good.

Review Score: 9.5 out of 10. 

Stretch Ur Skin is available digitally now via Bandcamp and Spotify.