Having known of who Cancer Bats are, one must sadly confess to not being a devout listener of said band. Knowing of their iconic stature and reputation for a sound that’s unconventional, relentless and as abrasive as their live shows, it seems only fitting to have a keen listen on virgin ears and let the cherry be popped. ‘The Spark That Moves‘ is the new album and let the rock run wild, shall we?
Opening with the single, ‘Gatekeeper’, which is accompanied by a hell of an amazing animated clip, well worth checking out, let’s say the cherry got popped instantly. The merciless heavy stoner groove on this track sets a blazing path for the album to follow, with a wild chorus and one for those who love to get their fists in the air and scream along. Instant mosh classic right here! Moving ferociously into the title track, ‘The Spark That Moves’, it’s apparent the Canadian powerhouse are back to make a bold statement and unleash a circle pit inducing hell ride here. The power groove and structure throughout is so damn menacing, before the bridge just snaps your spine, ’cause you will be head banging so hard, this will induce enjoyable suffering.
We Run Free’ carries on the fun with lines like “We run wild, we run free,” bellowing with a jive and good time feel to make this a joyous moment on the album. Tracks like this sing the praises of a party anthem for the wild, free and rebellious and what an anthem to lose your mind to. ‘Space And Time’ keeps the flow going with a real highway-burning southern-tinged rocker that swaggers with all the pedal to the metal feel and get you amped, especially when that bridge hits. Brace yourself, because this track is no holds barred and pulls no punches at all. By now, it’s safe to say Cancer Bats are well and truly kicking goals on this new album.
The more mid-tempo feel of ‘Bed Of Nails’ loses no edge or spark and some of the more memorable lyrics. Liam Joseph Cormier spitting a venomous rage “before I die, I live forever” that just resonates so well and hits a home run. The bomb drops hard and the bass rumbles on ‘Headwound’, before the ethereal tone of the chorus sails in smoothly. The beats and grind on this track are just such a slam to the wall of awesomeness with its fury and builds, before grooving hard in all the right places. There is no shortage of cool here.
The subtle piano intro for ‘Fear Will Kill Us All’ provides a nice touch, but don’t relax nor worry too soon, as the track snaps into a fly kick to the skull and rumbles like a storm sweeping across Death Valley in no time, as the band deliver a pretty straight forward and consistent formula to their song structure. Shades of southern rock with a bellowing rampage of spit on everything normal that is wrong with music. These guys are keeping it real and there’s not an ounce of bullsh*t to think otherwise. Moments like these seal the deal and will make many a fan extremely happy. One would have to say, rage like this hasn’t really been heard since the days of AMEN.
The almost Nirvana feel of ‘Rattlesnake’ hit a whole new level. Just when you think you have this album completely sussed, it smashes your skull. The way these guys just mercilessly plow through this album is astounding. ‘Can’t Sleep’ packs one of the wildest power groove moments on the album and just rocks. There is no discussion to be had here. Crank this one to the heavens and watch the skies shake. The groove on this track is ridiculously good. Then “Heads Will Roll” kicks in with a demonic force to Route 666 and burns ever so wild, as drummer, Mike Peters and bassist, Jaye Schwarzer smash bricks like Super Mario Bros in a synced mashup of rhythmic mayhem inducing a maelstrom of madness on this track. Scott Middleton just slays and screams throughout with his vengeful style of guitar playing that sails over the rumble. Cormier conducts the lead here towards the end like a madman possessed and it’s oh, so enjoyable.
‘Winterpeg’ brings a close to the symphony of mayhem that ‘The Spark That Moves’ is. The stomp and mid-tempo ferocious build in the verses before erupting in a chanting anthem of triumph just gives the entire right feel, with guest vocals from Chris Hannah from legendary Winnipeg punks, Propagandhi to add shape and melody, which makes this track even more interesting and shows the pride and respect these Canadians show one another. Take note, planet Earth.
And so, the cherry has popped and the ears ring with a joyous sensation, inflicted by the only way humanly possible to listen to this beast of an album. LOUD! The grooves, the mayhem, the realism of lyrics and content so purely screamed and spat with rage amongst a blistering attack of musical madness by a band that know no other way, and that’s the way it should be. Get this album, turn the stereo right up and maybe lock your furniture away safe. This is good time rock n violence right here and Cancer Bats are ready to tear you a new one.