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Cancer Bats - Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones (Cover Artwork)

Cancer Bats

Cancer Bats: Bears, Mayors, Scraps & BonesBears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones (2010)
Good Fight Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: moneenerdmoneenerd
(others by this writer | submit your own)

"What has always made Cancer Bats stand out is that nobody can ever label them as anything but original. Sure, they're not the only ones making aggressive punk/metal-inspired music, but they put their own stamp on it, and it's a sweet stamp!" This was said about the Bats' full-length debut, Birth.


"What has always made Cancer Bats stand out is that nobody can ever label them as anything but original. Sure, they're not the only ones making aggressive punk/metal-inspired music, but they put their own stamp on it, and it's a sweet stamp!"

This was said about the Bats' full-length debut, Birthing the Giant, by Punknews editor Ben Conoley way back in 2006, and I couldn't have agreed more. It was a band and an album that proved to be ahead of their time, as we quickly saw a resurgence of Entombed-loving hardcore bands hit the circuit following Giant's almost mainstream success. I also wrote up the Punknews review for their 2008 followup, Hail Destroyer, which saw the band maturing over the "hell yeah!"s and "awwwright!"s in their sometimes gimmicky lyrics, pushing past the Every Time I Die comparisons, and putting together a more cohesive and well-rounded record that, in my opinion, surpassed Giant in nearly every degree.

It's been two years since Destroyer and, to say the least, expectations for this record, Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones, ran puh-retty damn high from this listener. I was the guy who issued Destroyer a solid four stars and have probably seen the band play more times than anyone else I know. For much of the past four years, I touted the Cancer Bats as one of, if not THE best hardcore bands Canada has to offer. So what could be wrong about this particular Bats release that would warrant the measly three stars you see above?

Bears, in a nutshell, picks up exactly where Destroyer left off. But therein lies the problem: It features a lot of the "same ol', same ol'" that, although enjoyed on the latter-mentioned record, is kind of unwelcome here. What I mean is that Bears is void of almost any of the progression and maturation we happily saw transpire among their EP, Giant, and Destroyer, and the few songs that might see the band shaking things up a bit is ultimately forgettable.

Not to say that this is a bad record--it isn't, and the band sacrifices nothing in terms of heaviness, speed or rawness that one might expect from a band seeing some slight mainstream success such as these guys. The problem lies in the fact that there isn't one single track (okay, aside from their cover of the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage," which rightly kicks ass) that really stands out as a great Bats song. Bears feels almost like a B-sides collection of tracks that weren't exciting or enticing enough to fit on anything else of their until-now great catalog of releases.

Unfortunately, Bears falls just above average. Which is fine, and may well be good enough for any newcomer who may stumble onto Bears as their first Bats record, so it's hard to say much against the Cancer Bats' latest project (mostly because there is not much to say about it, neither negatively or positively as it is just so damn mediocre).

Now, I love this band--always have and always will. But as a long-time fan, this record is but a disheartening trip into all-too-familiar territory. I'm all for bands trying to shake certain clich├ęs, gimmicks and expectations they might be known for, but I think the Bats might have lost a bit of their flavor in doing so, leaving Bears as merely a decent hardcore album during a time when we are witnessing, and I quote from another Punknews writer, a "hardcore renaissance."

But don't just take my word for it.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
bubbajo (August 16, 2010)

Saw them at Red River Rampage. I was gonna go over to their set but i got paraded my screaming scene kids to i just grabbed a beer and listened from a far. The new album, like stated in the article, it medicore. Check out the Mad Cowboys!!!! sounds like old-skool Against Me!

cuts_like_drugs (August 15, 2010)

in soviet russia car drives you

mikeinflames (August 14, 2010)

in canada (mainly southern ontario) the cancer bats are played on mainstream radio (see 102.1 the edge).

tenwestchaser (August 13, 2010)

So I'm not sure how a band like Cancer Bat's success could be considered anything close to mainstream. Sure they are popular in the hardcore/heavy music community but popular doesn't equate to mainstream. So yeah...could somebody please explain this?

theRedDeath (August 13, 2010)

just listened to 'Dead Wrong' sounds like an Unearth B-side...which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

samthecritic (August 13, 2010)

I like the album more than Hail Destroyer, but Birthing The Giant is still their best.

smarttrigger (August 13, 2010)

"The problem lies in the fact that there isn't one single track (okay, aside from their cover of the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage," which rightly kicks ass) that really stands out as a great Bats song. Bears feels almost like a B-sides collection of tracks that weren't exciting or enticing enough to fit on anything else of their until-now great catalog of releases. "

Bingo

StraightToHell82 (August 13, 2010)

Good record, but my least favorite of theirs.
Favorite tracks: "Scared To Death", "Fake Gold", and "Raised Right".

Also, these guys are some of the nicest fuckers in music today... such stand-up dudes.

Broski (August 13, 2010)

I HATE ALL THOSE THINGS EXCEPT BONES i get to fuck girls with those lol

viridianx (August 13, 2010)

I really like this band, but this album was a little disappointing. I don't even mind so much that the sound doesn't really progress, but the riffs and stuff overall just aren't as interesting as on Hail Destroyer.

discountgigalo (August 13, 2010)

great album

skolarx (August 13, 2010)

the opening track is easily my favorite song they have written. i thought the album was better overall than Hail Destroyer, it flows nicely, well other than the cover, which is amazing but doesn't really flow with the rest of the record very well

cherrycolarain (August 13, 2010)

I agree with you almost entirely. However, I would like to point out that they should have done more with the sound the explored on the opening track, "Sleep This Away". It's one of the best things they've written and it's definitely a direction I would like to see them do more of. Other than that, "Trust No One" would be awesome live.

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