The group’s rather fun and upbeat Thrash approach, while still maintaining a serious eighties sound stands as strong as usual. Listening to A Girl Called Cerveza immediately made me think of a mixture of early Annihilator and Death Angel, two of my favorites in the Thrash scene, though the first more than the latter. But, just looking at the artwork of a morbidly obese woman with pigtails and missing teeth holding up that name plaque for an arrest photo with “Beer theft” listed just made me want to mix some of my favorite hard liquor beverages and have a damn good time banging my head along.
“Rapid Fire (A Tyrant’s Elegy)” for some reason didn’t hook me the way I wanted at first, but hearing the lyrics “I’m addicted to dictate” (or at least how I expect it lyrically is composed) brought me right around. It took a little while to get settled in given how much serious Death Metal and Black Metal I’ve been feeding myself, but the somewhat sharper riffs and faster pace really brought a smile to my face and I just began banging my head along. The same went for “A Girl Called Cerveza,” which had a bit of a Spanish vibe to it, as well as a little Rock to some of the chords, especially in the opening riffs. Perhaps that’s just from how I was interpreting it thanks to the drawing of morbidly obese Carman Conchita Cerveza staring at me to the left of the track list. Again I felt jovial, largely during the clean singing passages that slowed things down to a mid-tempo pace, and just rolled with it, though I get the feeling she wasn’t meant to be Spanish since she seems more along the lines of Swedish or German. The rest had a faster, far more aggressive sound, but the harsher vocal approach made things a little less intense, of course in a good way. There’s nothing much else to say except the energy here had me banging my head along and wishing I had a pint to raise and try to chant along.
At that point I was hooked. This was proving to be the fix I needed to clear the cobwebs in my brain. But then things took a slightly unexpected turn. While “Rapid Fire (A Tyrant’s Elegy)” had it’s serious vibe to the music, the intense “Witch Hunt” had really rich music hammering away through the main verses until the semi-melodic pre-chorus kicked in, shaking me from my happy state of mind to one that sent me crashing back to reality. This wasn’t bad, especially given the bass-heavy approach to everything else that wasn’t a strictly commanding performance. That atmosphere wasn’t really present for “Masters of Farces,” but again a little more of a tongue-in-cheek vibe was present throughout, almost as if an anthem of hatred towards modern politicians and news media outlets, though again my interpretation could be off. Either way, the fed up tone of the lyrical content and the material itself just struck a chord with me and my general disgust of modern mass media in general, and how much of it seems to play to the lowest denomination, feeding into the fears of those not willing to observe logic in the arguments.
At the end of my shift “The Metal Lady Boy” started up, and it was a bit of an eccentric kick I had a hard time getting into. Featuring Doro Pesch, the song had a bit of a noir vibe to the main chords, slowing down a bit with her clean singing that carries more of a Burlesque act to it. But, this is actually rather short since the rest of the song is a varied, but largely mid-tempo Thrash song. The bass really carries its weight, but overall it seems a little like a cluttered mess that eventually grew on me a bit, but not enough to make me want to voluntarily come back. One thing I can safely say I got into was the guitar solo that started off like an electronic instrument tackling a classical overture.
“Not One Day Dead (But One Day Mad)” toned things down a little bit as well, but in more of an old-school Thrash manner. Not quite a Crossover cut, but that sort of rebellion was there that the harsher vocals just didn’t quite fit. It’s still a strong track that had me banging my head along, but the whole offering felt more like something I’d expect as a soundtrack entry to a Mad Max film. I felt as though I were in the early stages of a hangover, and I hadn’t even drank, especially during the slower, sympathetic start of the guitar solo. But, much like “The Metal Lady Boy,” “Son of a Fridge” carries a bit of a unique tone to it. Starting with a cold and somber ballad introduction, the track does eventually pick up in speed and become another normal Thrash offering. The lyrical content does carry a bit of a sarcastic tone, but overall it’s another serious song I enjoyed, but won’t really fight someone to hear in full again.
That’s about all I had time to hear. Tankard have so far put a good first impression on me, but there are points where, like many of their albums, you get the idea they were going for, but it just didn’t work out too well. “The Metal Lady Boy” really was where I started to worry that the rest wouldn’t be filler, but would just be a collection of songs that missed the mark with me somehow. I’m definitely anxious to throw this onto a disc and slip it into my car stereo, as well as to just check out what songs remain, but that will have to wait until sometime this weekend when I have money and am out and about. For now, I’ll just kick back and listen to it between the bouts of madness and have fun with what upbeat offerings there are, and bang my head along to what aggression exists.
Article based on digital review material provided by Nuclear Blast Records.