Canadian punks with a soft spot for classic rock.
Over the past fourteen years, Cancer Bats have risen from humble practice space beginnings to become one of Canada’s most recognisable hardcore punk exports. Drawing influence from Southern rock, metalcore and sludge metal as well as forward thinking punk pioneers like Refused and Black Flag, the quartet have carved out a fairly unique sound for themselves, fusing hardcore’s ferocious bluster with the infectious swagger and groove of classic rock. It’s a combination that sounds great on record (just refer to any one of their six well-received full-length albums for proof), but it’s in the live setting that Cancer Bats truly come into their own, providing all the visceral intensity of hardcore punk with the kind of boisterous, larger-than-life showmanship of an arena rock band, minus the macho posturing that’s often associated with both genres.
Whilst Cancer Bats wear their love for the classics on their collective sleeve (the whole band also play in a Black Sabbath tribute band named Bat Sabbath, and have even covered the Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’), they’re far from another retro throwback act, with their more open-minded spin on hardcore punk manifesting itself in the form of splits with the likes of progressive post-hardcore troupe Rolo Tomassi, as well as drawing from a variety of non-metal influences on records such as 2012’s ‘Dead Set On Living’. Their most recent LP ‘The Spark That Moves’ was dropped as a surprise release last year with zero fanfare or marketing build-up, and still caused a wide-spread buzz across the punk and metal landscape, a testament to both the band’s dedicated fanbase and irrepressibly spontaneous spirit.
With Cancer Bats still riding high on those waves of hype, their Boomtown set should be a party of epic proportions. Whether you grew up on a diet of classic rock, spent your youth styling your Mohawk and tracking down punk 7”s or are just partial to big riffs played with wild energy, Cancer Bats really do have something for everyone.