Tankard are true survivors of the German thrash scene and deserve to be mentioned in the same discussions as Destruction, Sodom and Kreator, BUT unlike the afore mentioned bands these guys (for the most part) are all about fun! Since their first album (1986’s Zombie Attack) Tankard have continued to produce true thrash metal with no apologies (and very little variation).
Lyrical themes rarely stray far from 1. Beer, 2. Drinking Beer, 3. Finding beer to drink, 4. Why don’t I have a beer to drink, 5. I don’t have any beer … better find something else to drink!
“Hymns for the Drunk” is a compilation primarily focusing on tankards Post AFM Records output from 2002 – 2010 however a few classic tracks are thrown in for good measure. The album is available in both Ltd edition box set and as a single CD / LP. During this period of the bands existence they were basically brought back from the dead and thrust back into the metal spotlight.
“Hymns …” starts off with the blistering “Rectifier”, from 2002’s B-day album clearly someone has crossed the Tunic beer warriors between albums (perhaps someone spilled their stein?) because Rectifier takes aim and lets fire with threats a-plenty.
Staying on the B-day album “Need Money for Beer” is an in-depth study of one man’s inward journey, a deep soul searching epic on ….. oh ok, it’s about getting some money for beer! This is classic thrash, big sing along choruses, manic riffing and angry vocals … perfect.
“Slipping from Reality” has an early 90s Testament feel where as “Die with a Beer in Your Hands” has a Kill ‘Em All feel to it.
“We’re coming back” gives a nod to NY Hardcore in the vein of the Cro-Mags and Agnostic Front. Tracks like “Beauty and the Beast”, “New Liver Please” and “We Still Drink The Old Ways” are frantic and punishing with hints of Kreator (and a lot more beer).
“Hymns …” manages to cover a lot of ground in its 17 tracks including what a re-recorded version of “Zombie Attack” and “(Empty) Tankard”, from their first album. Also included is a great medley of Tankard classics “Alcohol, Puke, Mon Cheri and Wonderful life”.
There is no point taking Tankard seriously and that’s just the point, they are about fun times listening to metal and drinking booze with your friends. Tankard have been at this game for a long time now and they show no signs of slowing down, progressing or even sobering up. At the end of the tankard are a pretty one dimensional band one song blends into the next and if anything for me, it means that it doesn’t lend itself to repeated listens, but something tells me that the Tankard boys just don’t give a damn. They will be happily smashing beers for years to come … or until their livers explode from the stress. This is a great introduction to the band for anyone who wants a good over view of their last 15 or so years.
Get your hands on Hymns For The Drunk HERE!