Baptists: Bushcraft

Canadian hardcore punks offer a baptism of fire

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With Cancer Bats, Fucked Up and the late Alexisonfire sounding the punk-rock bugle and leading the charge from Toronto throughout the last decade, it’s now the west coast of Canada’s turn to burn thanks to Vancouver’s Baptists.

With Bushcraft, they’ve created something beautifully horrible and horribly beautiful: 11 breathtaking tracks of gnarled, vicious, uncompromising noise. It was recorded with Converge’s Kurt Ballou at his GodCity studio in Massachusetts, and there’s a clear kinship with his own band pounding through the metallic, bludgeoning riff attack of Bullets and the uncontrolled, breakneck pace of Mortar Head, a nightmarish beast of a song.

There’s no let-up, no fat to trim, just feedback, speed and intense vocal barks, and as your pulse races to keep up, the sense of thrill and panic is physically palpable. Hardcore and punk are alive and well and in good hands, and Baptists are more than up to the job of spreading this adrenaline-drenched gospel.