|Cancer Bats - 'Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones' (Distort/Hassle)|
|Written by Darrel Sutton|
|Monday, 12 April 2010 06:00|
Ladies and Gentlemen, please raise your glasses to the MUTHAFUCKING CANCER BATS. With the same certitude as death and taxes the Cancer Bats pitch up with another absolute stonker of an album. If you harboured any fears that they might have trouble following 2008's monolithic 'Hail Destoyer' - complete with THE riff of all time - fear not, this is a band on a seemingly unstoppable roll.
Anyway, with an opening like that I suppose I better back my big mouth up with the facts. Well, let's begin at the beginning, opener 'Sleep This Away' is a sneaky little number, with its slow-burning riff and thundering bass. When this gets belted out live make sure you've got the brown corduroys on because this brute is really gonna loosen your bowels. 'Trust No One' soon shakes the cobwebs loose, being very reminiscent of 'Engine Skull' on the tour redux edition of 'Hail Destroyer', Scott Middleton's guitar ripping you a new arsehole, whilst also providing the customary southern rawk nuances. Imminent pit favourite 'Dead Wrong' is next up with its chorus just waiting to be screamed by a couple of million (let's hope) manic fans at gigs worldwide. It's also a song underpinned by all the good shit you expect from a 'Bats tune, driving rhythms courtesy of Messrs Jaye Schwarzer and Mike Peters, Liam Cormier's carthartic, throat ripping vocals and those riffs......oh those riffs....... 'Doomed To Fail' follows a similar path before the quite brilliantly titled 'Black Metal Bicycle' comes and burrows under your skin and snakes its way to the base of your skull. An absolute corker a la 'Butterscotch' from their debut album, this little ditty just gets better with each listen.
Liam's scream of 'We Are The Undead' unleashes said track and the pace is back up a notch. The mid section sacrifices the speed in order to pummel you with another Middleton sledgehammer riff and then we're into 'Scared To Death' which was released online as a taster a couple of months back. 'Darkness' sees us back in riff heaven (in the key of B of course), with some real gut churning, open-string, palm muted chugging - fucking awesome I tell you. 'Snake Mountain' puts the pedal back to the floor with its intricate riff, interspersed with the chugs, the wahs, the wails, the crashing rhythm. Fuck me, I need a sit-down, cause I feel like I'm on one motherfucker of rollercoaster writing this, album blasting away as I write. But, no rest for the wicked, because 'Make Amends' has just grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and basically made me bang my head like the proverbial MF to yet another treacle-thick riff. The groove running through this one will have even the geriatric among us (i.e. all the Über Röck staffers, bar none) shaking their bootys down to the ground. 'Fake Gold' has a totally off kilter intensity to it with an absolutely manic riff . 'Drive This Stake' is a great mid pace rager with a couple of refrains which remind, dare I say, of Slipknot, vocally at least. Then, finally the pace drops a tad, with the magnificently brooding 'Raised Right', which wouldn't be out of place on COC's 'Wiseblood' masterpiece. Rounding off the album is their cover version of the Beastie Boys' 'Sabotage' which, if you've seen their video for this, which has been knocking about for while, will be a familiar feast. Given the suitable CB treatment, it actually stands up better as a straight audio track than it does on video thanks to Messrs Schwarzer, Middleton and Peters absolutely pulverising the thing.
So there we are, three albums and an EP down and it's fair to say the Cancer Bats are a band nearing the peak of their powers. 'Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones' (the band's nicknames for each other in case you were wondering) cements the style the 'Bats have developed since their debut EP in 2005, with a consistency that I think will guarantee longevity and an uncanny knack of writing songs that get under your skin and just grow and grow.
All we need now is the tour, because much like The Bronx, Cancer Bats are one of those bands that produce shows and albums that are of equal quality i.e. fucking blinding.