Exposé Online banner

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog — YRU Still Here?
(Northern Spy , 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-06-09

YRU Still Here? Cover art

Guitarist Marc Ribot has a recorded history that is so diverse as to be of little use in predicting what a new album might sound like. His group Ceramic Dog consists of Ches Smith (drums, percussion, electronics, vocals) and Shahzad Ismaily (bass, synth, percussion, vocals), two members of Secret Chiefs 3, so it would be reasonable to expect some features of that band’s experimental pan-global genre-stew to be present. That expectation is fulfilled in numerous ways and infused with a ragged, angry punkish energy more concerned with angsty expression than precisely rendered compositions. Rhythms touch on funk, dub reggae, African, Middle Eastern, and thrashing rock, all spliced together in varying ways. Ribot’s playing has a core of blues, folk, and rock, but mutated with a lot of atonal noises and dissonance, that has won him many jobs as a sideman (Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, John Zorn, David Sylvian, and more). In addition to this wild guitar work, he contributes Farfisa organ, a bit of bass, and vocals. Guests provide a number of other instruments, including sitar, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. The vocals are often more shouted than sung, and touch on social and political topics as well as personal ones, so they often resemble the chanting at a protest march. Some highlights are the sitar-driven “Orthodoxy,” the messed-up funk of “Freak Freak Freak on the Peripherique,” and the oddball grooving of “Oral Sidney with a U.” I’m going to call it all Global Freak-Rock, and leave it at that. Probably not for everyone, but if you’ve got a tolerance for edgy noise and a fondness for non-rock elements tossed in, YRU Still Here? is a fascinating release.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Marc Ribot / Ceramic Dog

More info
http://marcribotsceramicdog.bandcamp.com/album/yru-still-here

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hualun - Asian River – For their second release, this Wuhan post-rock crew has stepped up a few notches from their debut, Silver Daydream (reviewed in issue 38). They’ve moved to one of China’s most prominent...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues