Cancer Bats "Birthing the Giant" CDPosted on Monday, September 18th, 2006 @ 8:52am » permalink
I'll level with you, I don't really care for the band name "Cancer Bats", and despite the fact that the layout's pretty cool and everything's printed with a slick (literally) gloss coating, something about the cover art on this thing combined with the band name suggested "hipness" to me, so I didn't throw it in the CD player for a couple of weeks because I figured it wasn't gonna do it for me. Oops. My mistake. Wrong on all counts. "Birthing the Giant" (Abacus Recordings) is the first full-length from the Cancer Bats, and let me tell you, these Canadians are fuckin' killing it with this shit! Take a smidge of hardcore; a pinch of metal; some excellent post-hardcore dissonance; and a shitload of thick, gritty, rocked out badassedness… there you have it. The vocals are fierce shouts/yells that work perfectly alongside the energetic nature of the songwriting, and these cats are all over the place in terms of dropping pretty sweet riffs that cover a lot of ground. I wouldn't call what they're doing particularly innovative, but I have to hand it to 'em for really developing their own truly unique take within this niche. I really respect that they're not afraid to dive into some of the lesser-traveled territory of the rock 'n' roll realm, because the way they take the whole sludgy/southern-tinged foundation and seamlessly blend in so much of that token post-hardcore aesthetic is just awesome – and I swear, under the surface a few scattered riffs on this album are definitely treading cock rock waters on some level. Nice. The recording on this motherfucker is perfect, too. I love it. It's thick but textured, though not to the point where it sounds raw, and the mix is very well balanced to keep things sounding organic. It's got just the right amount of polish to give the material some added heaviness without altering the general vibe of what the songs are really communicating. This is definitely some meaty shit, and not in the manner that most would anticipate. Man, what a great record. I never saw it coming, either. I love surprises like that!
I'm looking forward to hearing more from these dudes. Based on my initial miscalculations, I could easily see this band being very underrated, so hopefully they'll overcome that. So if you dig the jams, fuckin' buy this shit: