TANKARD - One Foot In The Grave
August 9, 2017, a year ago
Great return to form, in terms of musical energy and pointed lyrics. Jumping right into the fray, “Pay To Pray” targets (the no longer exclusively American problem of) televangelists, carping for money. Built around a simple, yet infectious melody, “Arena Of True Lies” sees another German band (Destruction, Kissin' Dynamite previously) calling out the evils of the Internet, in this case, just the for profit, sensational headline/must click “news” stories that generate big $ for those who post such tripe. Two songs in, do you see a (anti-profiteering) slant? More of the same, but directly impacting Tankard, is “Don't Bullshit Us”. A musically vicious and lyrically snide swipe at those in the media (radio called out specifically) that refuse to play/support metal music, often under the guise that it's not progressive enough. After an intro, featuring a ticking clock, the title track is a lighthearted, tongue in cheek reference to the band itself, singer Andreas “Gerre” Geremia and bassist Frank Thorwarth (both mainstays) are both turning 50 this year, as the band celebrates 35 years of existence!
Does anyone not understand the self-evident title “Syrian Nightmare”, a rare reality based (dare I say, sobering) subject. Delving into the world of Viking battles, there's “Northern Crown (Lament Of the Undead King)”, but with a twist, come the end. Commenting from afar, “Lock 'Em Up!” is a Gerre penned ode to the insanity surrounding the latest US election. The impetus for a campy “Evil That Men Display” dates back to a festival appearance, with some (presumed black metal acts) and how they portray their evilness, versus their real demeanor. Speedy delivered “Secret Order 1516” revolves around Reinheitsgebot, the German (beer) purity law (can only use 4 ingredients), although in pre-release interviews, the band was (vainly) attempting to claim it was about fracking and pollution. Nice try guys. The “Sole Grinder”, dedicated to their manager, again takes the piss: he living in the lap of luxury, while the band grinds out life on the road, in dingy clubs, with no food, etc. That being said, Tankard just garnered major international press attention, with their hometown (Frankfurt) hosting the Bundesliga (German soccer league) finals, and the boys performing on the field. So management must be doing something right. There's a two disc version, the extra comprised of last year's live appearance at the Rock Hard festival.