Sound — 8
Hailing from Canada, these 4 metal-head punks are here to make a statement, and that is "We are here to party". I came across this band by word of mouth and by checking out their Myspace account just to see what all the hype was about. This their debut full length release through Hassle Records has been along time coming. The sound on this record is raw, dynamic and unrelenting. The title of the record describes the sound perfectly, Birthing The Giant. The record is pumped with 2 and half minute tracks of straight up punk and hardcore rock and roll. Topics throughout the album include living on the street, touring and lack of acceptance within their community. If you like your guitar riffs chunky then I would seriously recommend giving these guys a listen. The drum structure is along the same lines as the guitar, heavy as hell and there is no turning back. This record grabs you by the balls and does not let go until your beat up, sore and left feeling violated. Although the guitars and drums take centre stage on this record it is very difficult to find the bass track in the mix. The wave of sound lacks that extra punch which could of been included if the production time was a little bit longer. Musically the band wear their influences on their sleeves quite literally. EyeHateGod, Gallows & Down seem to be the main attire worn by the band from press shoots and promo shots. Luckily for The Cancer Bats their style of music isn't particularly popular with the mainstream alternative crowd which benefits them in my opinion. The band have gained a solid fan base from massive amounts of touring and festival appearances and this is can be experienced whenever you see them live.
Lyrics — 7
My overall impression of the lyrics on this album are that they seem positive but again lack that killer blow. Vocally Liam Cormier knows he is not the greatest vocalist in the world and he uses this to promote his own style which in some ways compels me to want to listen to him more. To class the vocals as singing is wrong, Liam Cormier snarls like a raged dog trapped in a cage wanting to escape. His straight-edge lifestyle is filtered into his lyrics and while although the music is dark the lyrics are about living a positive lifestyle and making the most of your opportunities. The music and the lyrics fit together perfectly and they both complement each other brilliantly. This is one of the records which I can actually listen to and hear something new and different every time I listen. An example of this can be heard on the final track Pneumonia Hawk.
Overall Impression — 8
My overall impression of this record is that it portrays a band that is thankful to be playing music. The band have hit the ground running with Birthing The Giant and have created their own unique style which separates them from a lot of the other acts in their genre. My standout tracks on the record are "Shillelagh", "Pneumonia Hawk" and "100 Grand Canyon". I believe this is probably one of the most honest and humble records that was released in 2007. It changed my opinion on punk rock, hardcore and the D.I.Y ethics behind music. The Cancer Bats have built the foundations and now have the opportunity to build on them with their future releases.