For too many years, Frankfurt alcohol aficionados Tankard had been unfairly excluded from the German Thrash Metal elite, the so-called “Teutonic Trio” of Kreator, Destruction, and Sodom. However, if you knock long enough, eventually you’ll be let in, and finally a few years ago the big boys club opened its doors to the drunken four-piece who had been impatiently waiting outside, pissing on the door handle and vomiting in the bushes.Continue reading
For decades, arguments have been ongoing among Metal fans as to the validity of the acts included in the so-called “Big Four” of Thrash. Even now, there are still regular (and all rather pointless) cries for the likes of Exodus, Testament or Overkill to have been included ahead of one or more of the established big boys. Continue reading
Though not held in the same kind of regard as other Teutonic thrash bands such as Kreator, Tankard have always stood apart since they have always been about having fun. Their 16th album, RIB – (Rest in Beer) (Nuclear Blast) keeps things ticking over nicely.
From the wacky mad scientist on the cover to songs about Auto-brewery syndrome – getting drunk from the chemicals inside your guts – these Germans have made their shtick stick by backing it up with some quality tunes along the way. Retaining Michael Mainx on production duties, the band – made up of Andreas “Gerre” Geremia – (vocals), Andreas Gutjahr (guitar), Frank Thorwarth (bass) and Olaf Zissel (drums) – pick up pretty much where previous album A Girl Called Cerveza finished; Slayer-like riffs, chanting choruses and plenty of songs about beer.
If you weren’t sold on the band before, there’s little to convince you otherwise. High octane drumming, frantic riffing and the shrill vocals with often juvenile lyrics. The title track, ‘Fooled By Your Guts’ and ‘The Party Ain’t Over ‘Til We Say So’ fit the traditional fast and furious mould, but occasionally the band show brief glimpses that they could cast off the party atmosphere and lay down some serious-faced numbers. Opener ‘War Cry’ mixes melodic guitar work with pure sonic rage, while ‘Clockwise to Deadline’ is a great modern thrash song, and throughout the album there’s searing solos thrown about. Some may bemoan the lack of consistent tone but a whole album of beer jokes would no doubt become irksome pretty quickly.
Is there anything on RIB to match the likes of ‘(Empty) Tankard’ or ‘Chemical Invasion’? But pretty much every track is enjoyable, and if the likes of ‘Breakfast Of Champions’ or the self-aware irony of ‘No One Hit Wonder’ don’t make you smile then nothing will. That Tankard can still write songs about beer after 16 albums and 30-odd years is impressive enough. That they can do it with the same sort of energy and enthusiasm as they did in the 80s means you should probably give this a listen out of pure respect to alcohol.
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