Album Review: Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones by Cancer Bats
Excellent, Based on 4 Critics
Rock Sound - 90 Based on rating 9/10
Cancer Bats at their best... The Beastie Boys cover that ends ‘Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones’ will surely grab all the headlines, but the thirteen tracks that precede it do so much more than play a supporting role to ‘Sabotage’. With less thrash and more fuzz Cancer Bats have taken a small, but interesting turn as they push the grime and intensity of their sound with solid new tones never before heard from the quartet.
Toronto-based punk-metal band Cancer Bats' third album on as many labels retains all the aggression and rage of its two predecessors. Their sludgy sound is hard to characterize -- it's not as raucous and raw as punk, but it lacks the sometimes inhuman precision of death metal or thrash. The vocals are a harsh scream, occasionally supported by clean counterpoints, but "harmony" is a concept with which Cancer Bats are apparently unfamiliar.
When Liam Cormier and Scott Middleton formed Cancer Bats in 2004, they sought to bring together the styles of some of their favorite music acts, such as Refused, Black Flag, Led Zeppelin, and Down. Considering the sonic disparity among those four artists, this was no easy feat. However, both of their early albums, Birthing the Giant and Hail Destroyer, were met with high praise from fans and critics, with the latter being nominated for Album of the Year at the 2008 Kerrang awards.
Persevere and it reveals itself as a selection of dark, enjoyably violent treats. Ben Patashnik 2010 Cancer Bats might be used to turning tiny venues into roiling pits of punk rock hell, but with Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones they’re aiming not just to consolidate the considerable success of their last album, Hail Destroyer, but better it. And, comedic-but-still-effective cover version aside (their brutal version of Beastie Boys’ Sabotage is both chucklesome and deliciously headbangable), rather than dialling up the melodies they used to weave among the noise, this third album is violently heavy.