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Cancer Bats - Birthing the Giant

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 10 / 12 / 2006

Cancer Bats - Birthing the Giant
Label: Hassle Records
Format: CD


Brutal-sounding, but compulsive debut album from Toronto-based hardcore act, the Cancer Batsthat, which blends together perfectly old style hardcore with more modern sounding hardcore and metal

The Cancer Bats come arms whirling out of Toronto, Canada, and for such a friendly, peace loving nation they sure do ugly brutal sounding music very, very well. The Cancer Bats come hot on the heels of fellow globe conquering Canadian hardcore band Alexisonfire. The two bands are both label mates and have done many a tour with each other and while Alexisonfire have already "made it big" their diseased flying rodent friends are not going to far behind them if 'Birthing the Giant' is anything to go by. The comparisons, however, pretty much end there. It is very important to stress that while Alexisonfire are hardcore they are definitely melodic as well. Cancer Bats chew the head off melodic and spit it out. As a seasoned metal heal head myself, if an album starts with a big dose of feedback, then for me it’s probably going to be pretty good. And there’s a lot of noisy feedback here. The ‘Bats burst out with ‘Golden Tank’ and don’t give you a second's rest to catch your breath until the final frenzied riffs of the last number, ‘Pneumonia Hawk’. These are also two of the best songs on the album with the first one setting down the template for what the band are all about, and the second one the crescendo for which the album leads up to, featuring some guest screams from - who else ? - George Petit of Alexisonfire. The Cancer Bats are the first band I have ever come across that blend perfectly old style hardcore-think Black Flag and Minor Threat-with more modern sounding hardcore and metal. They match the fury of and song stylings of the early incarnations of the genre, but they have brought the sound and production well and truly into this century. I am so glad of this, as in the past I have often heard great hardcore bands that sound like with a little better sound production they would have a lot more impact. The Cancer Bats don't lose any of the rawness that the genre thrives on. They are totally intense. The strength of their technical ability, with guitars from Scott Middleton, drums from Mike Peters and bass from Andrew McCracken, really makes "you tear a new one" Producer Gavin Brown, who has also worked with such rock heavy weights as Billy Talent and Three Days Grace, has done a superb job in the sound quality of the album, and for me this really does them justice. With this production and songs like ‘Shillelagh’ which is a huge bounce along number, it is clear that this is a band that are destined for big things, even if their music at times feels like your face has been just ripped off, but, hey, some pain is good.

Track Listing:-
1 Golden Tanks
2 French Immersion
3 Grenades
4 Shillelagh
5 Butterscotch
6 Death Bros
7 Firecrack This
8 Diamond Mine
9 100 Grand Canyon
10 Ghost Bust That
11 Pneumonia Hawk
12 Roy Rogers

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Interview (2010)
Cancer Bats - Interview
Heavy-sounding, but genreless Canadian act Cancer Bats have been touring constantly since the release of their third album earlier this year. Pennyblackmusic speaks to front man Liam Cormier about his group's increasing popularity and refusal to be pigeonholed

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