Cancer Bats Cancer Bats

While Toronto-based "gentleman’s metal band” At The Mercy Of Inspiration continue their indefinite hiatus, guitar player Scott Middleton’s new project Cancer Bats have been smoking their way through the T.O. hardcore scene with quite possibly the exact opposite modus operandi. Playing a furious, balls-out strain of rock’n’rollin’ hardcore somewhere in between Cursed and Coliseum, the songwriting is structured, stripped down and considerably more convincing in its aggression than the hackneyed, bandwagon-hopping "grindcore” and "tech metal” that is currently eroding Southern Ontario from the inside out. Vocalist Liam Cormier possesses a quirky, distinctive throat that positively secretes character and Southern swagger, carrying the group’s raging punk rock delivery through this self-released EP’s all-too-short running time. The production, while slightly muddy and a bit offbeat upon first listen, utilises an interesting drum mix that pushes certain cymbals and percussion to different channels, giving it an appropriately "live” feel. Recently signed to Distort Entertainment after less than a year of existence, expect big, big things, and hopefully an ATMOI reunion at some point. (Independent)