TANKARD has been around for a looooong time. Formed in 1982 by three classmates, Andreas Geremia, Axel Katzmann and Frank Thorwarth, they came up with the name TANKARD with the help of a dictionary. In the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t heard anything from this band in over a decade. But I got the new album R.I.B. which is out now via Nuclear Blast Records and I figured, “What the fuck? Let’s see what happens.” At first glance it’s pretty standard fare in the thrash metal genre. It’s not outstanding, but it’s not awful, either. The more I listen though, the more cool stuff I find.
For example, there is a punkish speed metal element to “Fooled By Your Guts” that right away takes me back to being 14 years old and listening to MEGADETH for the first time. This feeling continues on “R.I.B. (Rest in Beer)” which is coincidentally one of the album’s best. This band knows how to rock out, deliver some serious thrash metal riffs, and manage to keep the subject matter light! “Riders of the Doom” is your typical thrash band stuff, not that’s a bad thing. Apparently these guys in TANKARD have an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. And that’s fine. Plus we have the standard anti-corporate/anti-government view going on quite a bit. Hell, “War Cry” is the perfect example of that!
“Hope Can’t Die” has a much darker feel than the rest of the album. It sounds like something written to honor a fallen friend, of which I have many. Trust me, sometimes I can’t believe I’M the one still standing as I’ve buried others. This was easily an album favorite. We get back to straightforward ass-kicking with “No One Hit Wonder”, another standout for sure. It’s a declaration of who TANKARD is and fuck you if you don’t get it, but it’s also a demand for the respect this band absolutely deserves. Any thrash metal fan worth his or her salt should know who these guys are, it’s that simple. Pounding drums and slicing riffs are what these guys do, and do well.
I found myself inexorably drawn to “Breakfast for Champions” due to its brilliant simplicity. “Enemy of Order” and “Clockwise to Deadline” don’t break any new ground, but what they lack in originality they make up for in sheer attitude. And album closer “The Party Ain’t Over Til We Say So” is another chance to raise your glasses high and have a good old fucking time!! TANKARD did a good job with R.I.B. Is it new or different? Shit, no! But then again, is that really what you want from this band?? So plug in and have some fun!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Breakfast for Champions”, “The Party Ain’t Over Til We Say So”, “Hope Can’t Die”, “R.I.B. (Rest in Beer)”, “No One Hit Wonder”