In 2006, Cancer Bats gave our ears the cleansing treatment we needed – ‘French Immersion’ was a deep-rolling, bone-crushing piece of punk rock with a punch and intelligence undetectable in their peers’ output. The Canadian foursome’s third album sees them amping up the aggression while retaining the brains. There are echoes of the more metal end of the Black-Flag-spectrum in the slower songs, but it’s when the Bats step on the accelerator (see ‘Trust No One’ and the cracking, gang vocal-driven ‘We Are The Undead’) that things come alive. Singer Liam Cormier has further honed his controlled yet vitriolic delivery – nothing is done for effect but for the greater good of the song. Overall, this is another welcome aural deep clean, although a few points have to be deducted for a very unnecessary Beastie Boys cover.

By Matthias Scherer

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