Gather round, boys and girls, for I have a story to tell – one of old friends for whom a co-headlining tour never befell. Okay, fuck this rhyming shit, that was already far more effort than I’m willing to exude here. This past Friday the 7th of December marked the coming of a tour long dreamed of but never spoken about – the motherfucking Cancer Bats and The Flatliners, who came to make waves at the cozy Club Soda here in chilly-ass Montreal.
Cracking open this big ol’ can a whoop ass with a capital H were Heart Attack Kids out of London, Ontario. To keep the description good and simple, think Indian Handcrafts with a wee bit of Rise Against on the side for digestibility; a two-piece punk-rock ensemble with a knack for party vibes, but with a few stoner vibes for the sake of fucking your night up. Their set, albeit seen by few, was sufficiently entertaining. A bit of a trick for two-piece acts is keeping the sound good and full which was far from a problem with HAK. Given the opportunity, I most definitely suggest you stuff your face full of this shit without any guilt.
Cancer Bats could play here every day for the rest of my fucking life and I would still amp the bang-age up to fucking eleven the second the first note hit. It would take any savvy reader two seconds to notice that this gorgeous website has reviewed this band a handful of times, including by my own pervasive fingertips. One might ask, “What was different or special this time around?” Absofuckinglutely NOTHING, and I wouldn’t change a goddamn thing. This is the kind of band that’s earned their place on the totem pole of hardcore by way of relentless consistency, and this past performance was no different; big booming tunes, a raging Liam Cormier on the mic, and not a still body in the room. There might be a handful of tunes that’ll make this useless bitch body of mine feel like a bottle of snorted Viagra, and “Pneumonia Hawk” is most definitely still one of ’em, I’ll tell you what.
It may have taken ten some-odd years to get these two bands to play the same room on the same night, but make no mistake, having The Flatliners out of Toronto, ON close out the night on such a rager evening couldn’t have been more poetic. I mean, sure it could, I’m just stoked for the fact that both of these bands give me unnecessary “yes” feelings. Where Cancer Bats may be one of the few bands to still get the blood flowing, The Flatliners are one of the few bands that could play a half-assed, haphazard sounding set and still get a grade-A “Fuck yeah!” out of this grumpy fuck. Whenever a break could be had to catch one’s breath, it could be noticed that this wasn’t a perfect sounding set by any means, with feelings of lackluster mixing or maybe weak amps and voices for whatever godawful reason. But that is assuming, of course, that anybody took a breath from singing along to begin with. Tunes new and old, like the classic “Eulogy” and “Carry the Banner” and fresh cuts like “Indoors,” kept a buzz going in the room that could hide all the live performance grievances in the world behind a big ol’ bag of “Fuck, this is fun!” Truly a specialty few bands can call their own, and one I’m proud to have spent so much fucking money on merch on over the years.
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Michael Kovacs
*edited by Kate Erickson