Ever-changing and always unpredictable, Showbread has spent more than a decade rowing against the current of music industry standards and expectations at a time when other acts are just trying to stay afloat. After ten years of international touring and four genre-hopping releases with indie giant Tooth & Nail records, Showbread made a tremendous shift (even for them) by partnering with the non-profit organization Come&Live! to release their ultimate musical departure Who Can Know It? in 2010, free of charge. So how does an often overlooked and hopelessly controversial act like Showbread follow up their own antics? The answer seems obvious: With an elaborately detailed, science fiction, glam-punk concept record.
Cancer, Showbread's latest studio outing, like Ziggy Stardust or The Wall before it, follows the story of a downtrodden and rebellious rock icon of a protagonist as he attempts to use a punk rock band to lead a revolt against inter-dimensional fascists called "The Principalities" in a not-so-distant American future. In the grand tradition of rock opera, Cancer skillfully runs the gamut of angst, aggression, irony and tragedy. Listeners will follow cryptic liner notes, expansive artwork and provocative lyrics across the detailed terrain of the album's fictional universe-which will ultimately crescendo with the release of a feature film in 2013.
Relentlessly ambitious, Showbread seem to have found in Cancer the perfect storm to accommodate their unusual tendencies. Musically, the record seamlessly blends every style previously explored in Showbread's lengthy discography, building narrative tension with raucous punk rock energy. Cancer resonates long after listening with hooks and catchy sing-along anthems and will have you dusting off the ol' library card to dig deeper into the philosophical, political and theological themes explored in each track.
Equal parts Sex Pistols, Pink Floyd and George Orwell, Cancer will prove to be a creative high-mark difficult for Showbread to top in terms of scale, zeal and sheer listenability. As the album rolls out, you'll find your fist in the air, and a chorus on your lips. Fight the cancer!
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The Type of Cancer That You Do Want to Have| Posted September 25, 2012
Showbread is a unique band in that they never stick with one particular style throughout their career, they have gone thorough at least 5 different styles over the course of their 15 year history. Cancer feels like an amalgam of these styles and what Showbread is. The album itself is unique in that it's a concept album that tells a story of a band's journey through a near-dystopian 2015 America. Josh Dies' lyrics are amazingly well-written and his political and ideological views are clearly expressed and might be the cause of some controversy. (Something that isen't new for the band.) The music itself is also amazing in that it incorporates almost all of Showbread's previous sounds. The slower acoustic and clean vocal sounds of their last album Who Can Know It?, the synth sound from their previous concept albums Anorexia/Nervosa, and their trademark fast paced, screaming sound of No Sir, it's all on here and fits in so well with the album concept. While the first half of the album is mainly consisted of fast-paced battle cries the latter half of the album contains some of the band's most beautiful work. I must give particular praise to the track "You Will Die In A Prison" as it's the most worshipful and impactful song on the album and of the band's discography.
Cancer is a unique album. The concept, story, and ideas presented are all excellent and the world that the band creates is rich and intriguing. They run the gamut with different sounding songs and it pays off beautifully. And the number of tracks is misleading because even though it might look like a short album with only 9 songs, it manages to come out with a 50 minute running time. This is probably Showbread's best album yet and is probably one of the best albums of the year by far. And it's free of charge so everyone can experience the world of Cancer.
(More of the story of Cancer will be shown in the movie that the band shot for this album. It should be released sometime next year.)