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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cancer Bats - Hail Destroyer

There are few band names I think more ridiculously histrionic than that of Canada’s Cancer Bats. One can only imagine the conception of the name “This is a punk band guys so we want to have a scary name. So what do people fear?’
“Umm bats!”
"Yep, people do fear bats"
“People fear cancer too!”
“Yea, cancer and bats…. I think I’ve got something”.

Their penchant for ridiculous names continues to their choice of song titles. Their second album Hail Destroyer is full of them, Harem of Scorpions, Lucifer’s Rocking Chair, Zed’s Dead Baby and the titular Hail Destroyer, all fine examples. But hey this kind of music isn’t meant to be fucking subtle bitches.

Anyway, despite the song titles, Hail Destroyer is a rip roaring post hardcore ride worthy of such bombast. The riffs are tight and loose and Liam Cormier’s vocals are harsh and throaty but not to the point that they’re indecipherable (not that there’s anything wrong with indecipherable).

One might be tempted to compare The Cancer Bats to fellow post hardcore luminaries like The Bronx or The Gallows and the comparison is, for the most part, apt. But unlike those bands The Cancer Bats marinate their meaty chunks of punk with generous helpings of southern fried swagger, oh those crazy Canadian Cajuns. Tracks like Deathsmarch, Bastard’s Waltz and Lucifer’s Rocking Chair owe as much to Down and Type O Negative as they do to Minor Threat and Black Flag, and what’s more, they fucking rock.

To be honest though, there are moments of cheese, Let It Pour misfires badly and the guitar solos peppered throughout generally feel hollow and exposed (even if the press release says they’re electrifying), thus highlighting why most punk and metal bands have two guitarists. But, these are minor hiccups in what is overall a great sophomore effort by the Canadians.

Cancer Bats - PMA 'Til I'm DOA

Myspace Website


Nat said...

'marinate their meaty chunks of punk' - love it

Alien Clique said...

Yep, soak it in, that's alliteration mixed with metaphor right there. Hand over that Pulitzer douche bags, booyah!