In 2010 Cancer Bats released their epic Bears, Mayors, Scraps and Bones album and if they hadn’t proved themselves by then, with that album they certainly did. Two years on and they’re back with their brand new record Dead Set On Living. After releasing Bears… Cancer Bats went from one of the best up and comers to one of today’s best bands in the hardcore punk scene.
It’s easy to say that Dead Set On Living is Cancer Bats at their heaviest, rawest and best yet but the truth is that saying simply that it’s their best yet is a complete understatement. Getting the album off to the best start possible, R.A.T.S. is exploding with energy and force to destroy and smash everything in it’s way. What’s evident on Dead Set On Living is that Cancer Bats clearly have no intentions of slowing down or indeed tuning anything down. But it’s quite clear that there is no reason to either.The lead single from the album, Old Blood, shows why Cancer Bats are in a league of their own – they know what their fans want and they give it to them with the force and aggression that they’ve become known for.
Road Sick deals with life in a touring band – it’s the voice of all bands who tour and make music to make a living. Liam Cormier has the described the track as universal and it’s one of a few times that Cancer Bats show their more “emotional” side on the album. The aggression and force still rips straight through the track but it doesn’t take away the serious side of the song. The title track, D.S.O.L. also deals with a serious subject – inspired by a close friend of the band who almost died, only to have his hospital stint solidify his will to live.
Perhaps the best thing about Dead Set On Living though is Cancer Bats ability to bring a diverse range of songs to the table and craft a perfect record out of it. It’s a record for rock and metal lovers of all sorts – from thrash to hardcore to groove, it’s an all round mixed bag. The truth is that Cancer Bats can strike a chord with practically anyone – not everyone will be able to relate to every songs message, but it will certainly give a sense of hope for many. Bears, Mayors, Scraps and Bones was probably the darkest Cancer Bats record yet, but Liam Cormier says that everyone reaches dark places “but that gives us a reason to pick ourselves up and strive to make something better.” And that’s just what Cancer Bats have done – they went out and they made something great even better.
Dead Set On Living is Cancer Bats’ call to arms, since the release of their debut album in 2006 they’ve gone from strength to strength. Where they go from here will be an interesting move but having played close to 300 shows last year, 2012 will be another busy year for the Bats – whether it be as themselves or as Bat Sabbath. Dead Set On Living is sure to be one of Cancer Bats seminal records and a career defining moment.
The band will play 6 shows in London on the 21st April in support of Dead Set On Living. The shows venues form a pentagram on a map and all shows sold out within a week. In addition to this, the band will also play at the following festivals in the UK this year; Hit The Deck, Slam Dunk, Download, Hevy, Reading and Leeds. For more info and tickets, click here.
Dead Set On Living is released on 16th April via Hassle Records.