You know a band is making an adventurous ploy at catapulting themselves into the centre of mainstream attention when they produce a music video for every single song of their latest album. Cancer Bats can safely be forgiven however, considering that their usually consistent output has been severely lacking for three years. The band’s previous album, Searching for Zero actually attempted a slightly grander production to the disappointment of some of their fans, so it will be pleasing to those who were ready to walk away to know that this year’s return-to-form of sorts, The Spark that Moves, returns to the band’s grittier hardcore punk edge and favours that above anything else.
The Spark that Moves unfortunately turns out to be hit-and-miss, at least in terms of consistency. Sure enough every song here is straightforward and to the point (as is the case with most of the band’s previous albums), but the fact that remains that the best songs far outshine the weakest. “Gatekeeper” feels like a slow, sluggish start, too much so for a band who claim they’re ready to take the reins of a scene currently in slight decay. However, “Brightest Days” confirms that the band haven’t lost their hold on what made Hail Destroyer infectious upon its release, as the chaotic, menacing rhythm section quickly proves. Here, Cormier elaborately produces some of the most sinister and serious vocal tones in his career, one aspect which similarly catapults “Space and Time” and “Bed of Nails” quickly into the hearts of hardcore punk fanatics worlwide. Strangely enough, “Headwound” and “Fear will Kill Us All” seem weaker by comparison. Whether or not it’s because of the slower pace is questionable, but the experience the listener gets from listening to these two songs is certainly lacking when compared to “Space and Time”‘s doomy, end-of-the-world style approach.
All in all, The Spark that Moves renders Cancer Bats at their most inconsistent but also features some of their most well-written songs to date. If an album as obviously straightforward and transparent as this delivered every song as instantly infectious and powerful as “Space and Time” and “Brightest Days”, Cancer Bats’ core intention would have been an immediate success. Instead, it’s more of an album that will sit safely with the existent fan-base, rather than reaching out to a wider audience as Hail Destroyer did.
Released: 20th April, 2018
- Brightest Days
- We Run Free
- Space and Time
- Bed of Nails
- Fear will Kill Us All
- Can’t Sleep
Official bandpage: https://www.cancerbats.com/