CANCER BATS- ‘The Spark That Moves’

It seems increasingly unlikely that Cancer Bats will recapture the magic they snagged on ‘Hail Destroyer’. While they’ve not necessarily made a bad record since that landmark event and remain one of the most likeable bands in the business, the Toronto outfit have released a trio of increasingly ordinary albums to continually decreasing fanfare. ‘The Spark That Moves’, a surprise release this week, will do little to convince that any change is gonna come. From the first buzzsaw riff of ‘Gatekeeper’ to the fading strains of ‘Winterpeg’ this is more of the same. Oh, Cancer Bats are desperately trying to make you forget the past- there’s speed and energy in these tracks and lyrical momentum too, plenty of lines about defiance and moving forward- but nothing stands out. Scott Middleton’s riff merchant status is undeniable, Liam Cormier’s vocals remain unique, and there’s a fun, fuzzy, thick bass high in the mix throughout, but ‘The Spark That Moves’ is sadly less than the sum of its parts.

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