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Tankard - The Tankard (Reissue) Award winner

The Tankard (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 09 December 2017, 4:12 AM

Underestimated, underrated, unappreciated. What appeared to be the story of TANKARD’s last album with Noise Records, “The Tankard”, might as well be the story of Thrash Metal in the mid-90s. Being ignored in favor of other genres that became one with the crowd had already been in motion back in those days, and other than TANKARD there were other bands that prevailed upon their early heritage. Originally released in 1995, a year after the Thrashed up battery of “Two-Faced”, the new album of the Germans maintained a path taken, a route which would eventually change later on after leaving Noise Records. The remastered version of the album, coming in once again via Noise Records, includes a special edition that also surveys that side project TANKWART’s debut album, “Aufgetankt”, displaying TANKARD’s alter ego as the humoristic clowns of Punk.

While maintaining the same lyrical state of mind as on “Two-Faced”, TANKARD, this time as a foursome crew following Axel Katzmann departure due to health reasons, further invested time and effort upon perfecting their music, raising it a one level up, even tighter and high rate than “The Meaning Of Life”. TANKARD in their songwriting crafted tunes that would nail one’s ears to their call. Whilst still strong in their Thrash Metal delivery, the Frankfurters made the perfect unison between traditional Metal and vintage Punk to create a massively loosen and melodious listening experience. Alongside Andy Boulgaropoulos riffs, putting on display a variety of influences between Metal and Rock, and Gerre’s astoundingly improved singing production and ability, the songwriting on this album discovered TANKARD as a band that didn’t nail themselves to purely the hardcore Thrash Metal of “Stone Cold Sober” and “Two-Faced”, but rather chose to head on forward while still keeping it Metal and not slandering the genre’s name and past magnitude.

The heavy hitters, the apocalyptic “Grave New World” and deranged “Poshor Golovar” decimated with tightly made Thrash Metal massiveness, yet raising the flag of Melodic Metal within the energetic mania. The catchy “Fuck Christmas” has been a long time favorite of mine, listened for the first time in a newer version, Punk sure took a strong stance here, an immensely fun tune, showing a kind of animosity towards Christmas rituals, and mostly the capitalist in origin. Post-Apocalyptic slow tempo haunter “Atomic Twilight”, the Metal / Punk Alien infested “Close Encounter” and pessimistic “Hope?” proved of TANKARD’s craftiness and how their songwriting upgraded extensively. Other tracks recommended: “Minds On The Moon”, “Mess In The West”, “Positive” and “The Story Of Mr. Cruel”.

The TANKWART second CD was quite an experience I’d tell you. I have never been that of a Punk fan, but kicking it up a notch with the right dosage of Metal, and it stick harder than superglue. TANKARD covered some of the known and unknown German Punk Rock bands. Probably the only one that I did know was DIE TOTEN HOSEN, still one of the foremost Punk Rock bands in Germany. Didn’t mind for a minute that I didn’t understand a word, the overall feel was over the top. Such confidence and fun could be noticed from the band’s playing, such passion to enjoy themselves as their main act became a rather darker end in comparison. “Liebesspieler”, “Hurra, Hurra, Die Schule Brennt”, “Konig Von Deutschland” and “Elke” are simply iconic covers. Though I have never listened to the originals, I trust that TANKARD paid their respect to the bands in question.

As you can imagine, and eventually you will pay attention once you have the copy of the release, the remastered version’s booklet has a fine share of information, provided by Gerre, regarding the album’s progress, the era that surrounded it and where TANKARD headed after its release. I found it to be quite an interesting story, a lot of light was shed over what happened to the band. “The Tankard” is my second best release after “The Beauty And The Beer”, which was released in 2006, it is a simply work of art of melodic Thrash Metal that is bound to tradition, yet also has a blind eye towards a few new ideas.

Purchase Link: Noise Records

4 Star Rating

1. Grave New World
2. Minds On The Moon
3. The Story Of Mr. Cruel
4. Close Encounter
5. Poshor Golovar
6. Mess In The West
7. Atomic Twilight
8. Fuck Christmas
9. Positive
10. Hope ?

11. Liebesspieler (Die Toten Hosen Cover)
12. Pogo In Togo (United Balls Cover)
13. Hurra, Hurra, Die Schule Brennt (Extrabreit Cover)
14. Herr D. (Westernhagen Cover)
15. Sternenhimmel (Hubert Kah Cover)
16. Konig Von Deutschland (Rio Reiser Cover)
17. Elke (Die Ärzte Cover)
18. Skandal Im Sperrbezirk (Spider Murphy Gang Cover)
19. Billiger Slogan
Andreas “Gerre” Geremia - Vocals
Andy Boulgaropoulos - Guitars
Frank Thorwarth - Bass
Olaf Zissel - Drums
Record Label: Noise Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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