Cancer Bats - Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones
Record Label: Distort/Good Fight
Release Date: April 13, 2010
When your last record was a huge success, it’s only natural to go into the studio and want to make your next one better. That’s exactly what Cancer Bats did and unlike some bands, they actually succeeded. The Toronto four piece hit it big in 2008 with their sophomore effort Hail Destroyer and Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones really is the obvious progression.
The album opener “Sleep This Away” is an incredibly strong track and one of the heaviest songs they’ve ever written. The opening riff is so dark and it makes the song stick out much like “Hail Destroyer” did. And the track sounds even better when Liam Cormier’s tortured scream and the hard-hitting drums kick in.
A highlight is certainly the guitar work done by Scott Middleton. Lots of effects abound on this record and shine on songs like “Trust No One” or “Darkness,” which has another excellent opening riff and a rocking guitar solo in the middle. The thrashy punk “Fake Gold” is another example of some of the great shredding you’ll find on Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones. These songs make filler on the record like “We Are The Undead” sound particularly weak.
Cormier’s lyrics are still dark, but there are some more personal, positive messages in these tunes. “Doomed To Fail” seems to be about how you should always try something, even if you think you’ll fail. The second last track “Raised Right” is a slower way to almost end the record and is another example of Cormier’s gruff, but audible voice singing more personal lyrics. It begins with a slow, eerie riff and the song is a reflection on how Cormier’s parents raised him to be the person he is today.
Last but not least is the band’s head banging cover of “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys. The guys did an amazing job with this cover and it certainly lives up to the original. It probably would have been best to keep “Raised Right” as the album closer and have this as a surprise bonus track though.
If you were hoping Cancer Bats would shock you and completely change their sound, you’ll probably be let down, but if you loved Hail Destroyer and want much of the same, this record won’t disappoint. While there is some filler, some of the best Cancer Bats songs can be found here and that alone makes this worth checking out, even if it isn’t a gigantic departure.
I'm not sure what I've been anticipating more, this album or the headlining tour that should be around the corner? Doesn't really make sense though that I'm more likely to see that once I've moved to England from Ontario