CANCER BATS - The Spark That Moves
May 18, 2018, a year ago
(New Damage / Bat Skull)
Toronto hardcore punks Cancer Bats cut the bullshit when it came time to release their sixth full-length album, dropping it suddenly and without warning on Friday, April 20th. First impressions with that is that perhaps it’d be something a bit tossed off, but these 11 songs are most certainly up to Cancer Bats quality levels, which is pretty high. Opener “Gatekeeper” finds the band nodding to Lamb of God while they lay waste, and “Brightest Day” brings a half-time southern metal chorus after the four-on-the-floor punk verses, a combo of sounds these guys have made their own. “Headwound” would make Sick Of It All proud; “Fear Will Kill Us All” is an absolutely raging metallic hardcore stomper; “Can’t Sleep” riffs hard.
Throughout this killer album, the band’s enormously high amounts of pure punk energy are just explosive, The Spark That Moves seeming to have even more heft to it than usual, probably due to the cool surprise sucker punch release-date move. The album closes with “Winterpeg,” a song featuring guest vocals from Chris Hannah of Winnipeg punks Propagandhi; in the tune, Cancer Bats pay homage to where they recorded this excellent, ragged, energetic hardcore album. These guys don’t release duds, but if I were to suggest one album to a potential fan, it might just be this one, which is saying a lot.