TANKARD – The Beauty And The Beer

TANKARD - The Beauty And The Beer
  • 8/10
    TANKARD - The Beauty And The Beer - 8/10


AFM/Locomotive Records
Release date: September 12, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

There are plenty preconceived ideas attached to Metal music and its followers. Like most preconceived notions, they are based on a certain level of truth. One of these is that Metalheads generally like to indulge in beer drinking on a regular basis. Indeed, for the major part, it seems to be a fact. Alcohol of choice for your average Metal fan primarily is beer. Naturally, some like beer just a tad more than others. German veteran Thrashers Tankard are among them. In fact, they are obsessed with beer, so much to the extent of actually building a whole image around beer drinking, and the happy state consuming it brings. This image is, in turn, based on a lifestyle. Beer is more than just a beverage for Tankard; it’s almost a religion, as the size of their bellies testifies.

The cover artwork, courtesy of Michel Montheillet, shows a beast, presumably male, stretching out for beer, which a beauty holds for him. The beast is so occupied with the sighting of beer he doesn’t even notice her cleavage, so deep her nipples revealed, and admiring stare. Whether this painting may be telling or not of Tankard’s priorities in life is unclear, but most heterosexual males, however thirsty they may be, most certainly would have stopped to glance down at the beautiful girl’s cleavage, as the first thing they do. On the other hand, who can tell what sexual preferences this beast has?

“First we have album name, then cover artwork, then we write some songs around that,” proclaims singer/shouter Gerre. The philosophy of Tankard isn’t deep, and the same goes for the music. However, it does work, even after 20 years of releasing albums, and close to 25 years since its original, school band, formation. While many Thrash bands of old felt the urge or need to change and move with the times, adjusting or even completely changing original musical ideals, the Thrashing of Tankard is precisely the same as it was during the glory years of Thrash in the 1980s. It’s precise, aggressive riffage backed up by fast drumming. Elements of loose string drop-tunings and bass slaps are thankfully absent.

On occasion, the thoughts of beer aren’t entirely occupying Tankards minds, and songs like “Forsaken World,” “Blue Rage – Black Redemption” (dealing with prison punishment), and “Dirty Digger” (supposedly about corruption) come through. The title of “Forsaken World” kind of speaks for itself, and it’s in fact one of the catchier tunes on offer.

Choosing of words are decidedly corny at times. Take “We Still Drink The Old Ways,” for example. It’s unclear what the distinct differentiation of “old” and ”new” ways of drinking in fact are. “In the same way” instead of “old” could have been used, but then again, “old” way of drinking may make sense in Tankard’s drunken haze. “MetalToMetal” (yes, the spelling is merged), celebrates the music to which the band has remained truthful. Really, who’s to disagree with the words “No Country, No Reaggae” and “No Hip Hop, No Techno – it’s driving me nuts!”? It’s the absolute truth that “The power of Metal will always survive.” It’s been proven time and time again that it does not need to depend on trends, and the Manowar lyrics “more beer and Heavy Metal and I’m just fine” is probably very truthful in Tankard’s case.

For the most part, the love of beer, and drinking it, is what the lyrics are based on, and the joy of consuming is shouted aloud in numbers like “Shaken Not Stirred.” It’s doubtful the track would ever score a soundtrack for a James Bond movie, but at least it’s an amusing thought.

Tankard is indeed very good at what they do, even though they can’t possibly be completely sober for any longer lengths of time. Kidding aside, The Beauty And The Beer is a sure bet for anyone looking for a piece of traditional, well-played and intense Thrash. Raise those tankards!


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