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Tank - This Means War Award winner

This Means War
by Kevin Lewis at 11 July 2022, 11:03 AM

This Means War” is the third full-length album from TANK. Firmly entrenched in the traditions of the NWOBHM, this is a straight-forward rocker of an album. High Roller Records issued this re-release on May 27, 2022.

The album opens with a keyboard intro that now sounds eerily like the theme from Stranger Things. Granted, that show was 30 years away from existing, so we know who did it first! After the intro, “Just Like Something from Hell” really kicks in. The gritty vocals of Algy Ward are present and accounted for. The guitar work is as fine as ever, and the rhythm is a killer gallop with a bit of flair.

This is another angst-filled, anger-fueled, anthemic record full of defiant tracks that are meant to inspire rebellion. Both “This Means War” and “If We Go (We Go Down Fighting)” are excellent examples of rage-filled tracks to which you must headbang. Gritty guitars and vocals over bombastic rhythms give the listener a chance to shake their fists and challenge the establishment. As NWOBHM as this record is, there is a bit of punk attitude folded in, making this a great anti-establishment disc.

Laughing In the Face of Death” is one of the faster songs on the record. There is a bit of MOTORHEAD on this track. Only a crazy person would laugh at death, right? These guys do it and seem to have no fear of the possible consequences. This is a straight rocker that really gets the blood pumping. The rhythm is killer. I even picked up my air drum sticks for a bit because you can’t sit still through this one.

On the more melodic side, “Echoes of A Distant Battle/Swapiyayo” still has the chugging rhythm you’ve come to expect, but the guitar work is less brutal and more streamlined. After the final piece of the amin song, you have a short pause, followed by a tribal piece that goes for a minute or so. The vocalizations are quite interesting and really do not fit the rest of the album but are a pretty cool reprieve.

Ending the disc is “Whichcatchewedmycuckoo,” a weirdly artistic track with darker vocals in a lower register than usual. They are also somewhat muttered, rather than sang. Likely meant as a bit of fun to finish out a fairly serious record, it’s a bit odd, making me wonder if it wasn’t just a time filler.

TANK spent some time working on most of these songs, crafting angry anthems meant to be chanted by the pressing hordes at the rail of their live shows. I can imagine the band walking out launching into “Laughing in The Face Of Death.” What a killer lead off track for a concert. Slightly more punk in its’ overall feel than some of the other TANK discs, this is probably one of the best they did. Always solid, this is where the band seemed to mesh a little better.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. Just Like Something from Hell
2. Hot Lead Cold Steel
3. This Means War
4. Laughing in The Face of Death
5. If We Go (We Go Down Fighting)
6. I (Won't Ever Let You Down)
7. Echoes of A Distant Battle / Swapiyayo
8. The Man That Never Was
9. Whichcatchewedmycuckoo
Algy Ward – Bass/Vocals
Mark Brabbs – Drums
Mick Tucker – Guitar
Peter Brabbs – Guitar
Record Label: High Roller Records


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