Ceramic Dog


(Northern Spy)


cera resIs this the year’s angriest record? Marc Ribot is sick of seeing his Brooklyn friends and neighbours randomly arrested by the US Immigration and Customs Agency (contemptuously known as “La Migra”). When he’s not baring his punk roots in tsunamis of fury like Personal Nancy, Muslim Jewish Resistance and F**k La Migra, he can turn to caustic satire, as on the world-beat Pennsylvania 6 6666, with its spitting commentary on cosy white homogeneity.

Setting Ceramic Dog apart from other post-punk operatives is the fact that Ribot (guitar, vocals), Shahzad Ismaily (bass) and Ches Smith (drums) come from the pinnacle of New York’s creative music scene, so no idea is off-limits, and their imaginations range as far as their ridiculous virtuosity. Yet for all the sophistication at their disposal they prefer to preserve a garage-band rawness, even when they approach the relative tenderness of the title track, with its coiling, intersecting guitars. Ultimately I prefer the extended, psychedelic-tinted blowing on the humorously titled Shut That Kid Up and the even more bewitching Orthodoxy, underpinned by Neel Murgai’s sitar. Angry, brilliant and sometimes plain beautiful, YRU Still Here is certainly different.