Review Summary: ...
The Cancer Bats have been going since 2004 and their debut album, "Birthing the Giant", was a raw, hardhitting Hardcore/Punk album that really caught peoples attention. But it was 2008's "Hail Destroyer" that blew everyone out of the water: catchy melodies with a brilliantly heavy sound.
Since Hail Destroyer the band have lost a little of their spark imo. "Bears, Majors, Scraps & Bones"--the follow up to Hail Destroyer--was abit of a disappointment for me. It lacked any real progression and no matter how many times I listened to it I just couldn't bring myself to like it. It looked like the band were running out of steam.
So with "Dead Set On Living" I was hoping it would be pushing the sound forward, like they did with Hail. They haven't really done that, but rather put the first two albums in a bag, gave it a shake and out pops DSOL.
It's a mixture of the rough sound Birthing the Giant had (alot of that is down to Liam's gruff talking/singing that he had on Birthing) with the melodic sound of Hail Destroyer. Most fans might be pleased with the outcome, I'm still not 100% satisfied...
The album is solid, but alot of the songs are missing something that really catch your attention. "r.a.t.s" is a great song to kick the album off, but after the next 3 or 4 tracks you're wondering if anything different is going to happen and unfortunately it never really does, it sticks to the same path throughout. The first half of the album was a slog, with the exception of r.a.t.s, songs sound a little dull and don't really go anywhere. I was left wondering if it was going to end up another BMSB, but when it hits 'Old Blood' the second half of the album picks up abit more.
Overall, this album is alot better than BMSB. It still isn't all that exciting, but it's solid and it's fun to put on every now and then. But with the way Cancer Bats were going after they released Hail, I thought they were on their way to bigger things. As it stands, dispite the safe sound they've stuck with, this is a respectable Cancer Bats album that will appease fans. But it will always be third choice from the rest of their catalogue.