As with many bands that stick to their core beliefs and sound, TANKARD has generated quite the dedicated fan base who are willing to go to bat for the German Thrashers as many times as it takes. This doesn’t quite stop the long time and underrated band from releasing a mixture of quality albums within their own style. The previously released “Vol(l)ume 14” was a rather mundane effort, but the band seems back on track with fun and Thrashy “A Girl Called Cerveza.”
The same positive and negative aspects that TANKARD have carried with them for most of their career are still here on their fifteenth record. The general quality of the album seems to be a bit better than the last couple which is pretty big relief for this long time fan. The writing and focus is still fun, but it does so in such a serious manner that sometimes its hard to tell if their tongue is still firmly planted in cheek. For every song about drinking (or getting alcohol stolen from you by the woman you brought home last night as is the case in the title track), there is one about other subject matters like the dictator’s point of view in “Rapid Fire” or the food pun riddled “Son Of A Fridge.” This is backed by a strong, if not somewhat repetitive, instrumental force of very old school Thrash with plenty of Punk influence in energy. The songs may pull a little long at times capping a high point three minutes in only to drag on a couple minutes more, but the infectious energy and ‘sense of fun’ that TANKARD plays with overrides some of these flaws.
The alcohol-fueled musical attack is benefited from two distinct performance elements that have always made this band such a riot to listen to: strong riffing and a great vocal delivery. The drumming and bass has always been somewhat rudimentary for TANKARD, but the job for laying foundations for their music is done and it allows for the two stronger aspects of the band to flourish. The riffs are fist pump worthy throughout “A Girl Called Cerveza” with highlights coming in the title track, “Not One Day Dead”, and “Witch Hunt.” These rapid-fire wrist breakers even sometimes override the lead/solo work and certainly carry most of the energy and catchy writing for TANKARD. This is partnered with a fun and snarly vocal performance. Love him or hate him his goofy lyrics and shouted delivery are here to stay and I, for one, love this aspect as “A Girl Called Cerveza” brings this to the forefront.
This fifteenth record isn’t all that much different from much of their modern releases through the late 90s and 00s. It still utilizes the now patented style of TANKARD in its full effect, but this time the writing is more memorable and catchy. There is little in the way of true filler and most of the faults come from the length and repetitiveness of the songs. Honestly, that’s not a huge deal for these guys and “A Girl Called Cerveza” is out to have listeners moshing in no time with its high energy and fun execution.
Songs to check out: “Rapid Fire (A Tyrant’s Elegy),” “Running On Fumes,” “A Girl Called Cerveza.”
(Online July 11, 2012)