Tank - Power of the Hunter/Tank 1982/1987
Power of the Hunter (1982)
1. Walking Barefoot Over Glass (5:32)
2. Pure Hatred (3:50)
3. Biting and Scratching (4:41)
4. Some Came Running (3:03)
5. T.A.N.K. (3:49)
6. Used Leather (4:21)
7. Crazy Horses (2:52)
8. Set Your Back on Fire (3:57)
9. Red Skull Rock (4:07)
10. Power of the Hunter (4:09)
1. Reign of Thunder (7:17)
2. March on, Sons of Nippon (4:10)
3. With Your Life (6:28)
4. None but the Brave (6:44)
5. The Enemy Below (4:42)
6. Lost (4:54)
7. (The Hell They Must) Suffer (4:42)
8. It Fell From the Sky (5:29)
Tank are a NWOBHM band formed by Algy Ward who was at one-time the bassist of seminal punk band The Damned. The band was rounded out by the Brabbs brothers; Mark and Peter on drums and guitar respectively. Tank generally draw comparisons to Motorhead, and rightly so. Their debut did have a big Motorhead vibe which was made even more obvious by Motorhead guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke in the producer roll. However to say that Tank are a Motorhead clone would be inaccurate. In fact, they can also be compared to bands like Girlschool, Diamond Head and US bands The Rods and early Riot. Simple, straight-forward, heavy metal.
The band's second album "Power of the Hunter" is raw and heavy but retains enough melody and more hooks than a tackle box. Unlike their debut which was slightly more aggressive, "Power of the Hunter" isn't Tank trying to be Motorhead but trying to break out of the box and create their own sound. The album opens withe the brash "Walking Barefoot Over Glass", a song that clocks in at over five minutes. This song seriously reminds me of Diamond Head with it's raw aggression and hooky chorus. The metal mayhem never really lets up from beginning to end. An odd inclusion is a cover of The Osmond's "Crazy Horses". An odd choice for a cover, but it works for them and this power trio made the song their own. I've read some reviews that tag this album with the "sophomore slump" tag, but I couldn't disagree more. This is prime NWOBHM. Will it trample Iron Maiden's "Killers" or Raven's "Rock Until We Drop" in the battle for kings of the heap? Probably not, but it;s definitely one of the royal court.
The two-on-one CD contains the band's classic 1982 album "Power of the Hunter" as well as their 1987 self-titled album. By 1987 the metal scene had completely changed, being forced into a more commercial direction by the success of the American glam metal scene. Tank also changed. First of all they were no longer a power trio and their line-up changed with only Algy remaining. The band added Mick Tucker - guitars, Cliff Evans - guitars and Gary Taylor - drums. However, Tank's sound didn't change so radically that they had lost their identity. The production is slicker, but the music and vocals still retain that raw edge and the songs still have those killer hooks. Probably the one truly sour note on this album would be the ballad "Lost", which is just...blah! Nobody wants to hear a ballad from a band like Tank. Leave the tender ballads to the pop bands. Tank is about power, intensity and heavy metal!
Tank - This Means War (Metal Mind) 1983
1. Just Like Something From Hell (8:31)
2. Hot Lead Cold Steel (5:46)
3. This Means War (5:19)
4. Laughing in the Face of Death (5:17)
5. If We Go (We Go Down Fighting) (5:27)
6. I (Won't Ever Let You Down) (4:40)
7. Echoes of a Distant Battle (5:03)
8. The Man Who Never Was (B-side of "Echoes of a Distant Battle" single) (4:31)
9. Whichcatchewedmycuckoo" (additional B-side of "Echoes of a Distant Battle" 12") (3:20)
10. Swapiyayo" (from French version of This Means War LP) (1:13)
The third album from New Wave of British heavy metal band Tank continues the vicious onslaught brought on by their first two. Despite the band being compared to Motorhead, these guys are not just a clone of one particular band. Their sound is punk-infused heavy metal and while comparisons to Motorhead are not far off, you can also hear fellow NWOBHM gals Girlschool and some AC/DC in the band's sound as well. The line-up for "This Means War" expanded to a four-piece, with the addition of second guitarist Mick Tucker, former member of the NWOBHM band White Spirit. With Tucker in tow, the band's sound is slightly more melodic than their first couple albums. Of course Algy's course and punky vocals keep the band squarely in the raw and rough side of heavy metal.
Tank - Honour & Blood (Roadrunner) 1984
1. The War Drags Ever On (8:14)
2. When All Hell Freezes Over (5:56)
3. Honour and Blood (6:13)
4. Chain of Fools (4:08)
5. W.M.L.A. (5:17)
6. Too Tired to Wait for Love (4:37)
7. Kill (8:00)
8. The Man Who Never Was (4:32)
"Honour & Blood" is the fourth album from Algy Ward and company. Released in 1984, this album features Algy as the only original member remaining. The Brabbs brothers are replaced by Cliff Evans on guitar and Graeme Crallan on drums (reuniting Crallan with his former bandmate in White Spirit, Mick Tucker). Despite the line-up changes, the sound is still the same. The songs are straight-forward British heavy metal with a huge nod to Motorhead and that same punk attitude that the band has always had. The production is raw and heavy and Algy's raspy voice cuts through the mix. The only big change is in the vocals which focus slightly less on war themes. Songs like W.M.L.A." and "Too Tired To Wait For Love" are songs about love, while "Chain of Fools" is a cover of the 1967 hit by Aretha Franklin. Basically, Tank have declared war on listeners ear drums. Crank it up and push the pedal to the metal. This is real heavy metal!
Tank - Still at War (Spiritual Beast) 2002
1. Still at War (6:17)
2. That Girl's Name Is Death (T.G.N.I.D.) (7:03)
3. Light the Fire (Watch 'em Burn) (4:28)
4. The World Awaits (5:57)
5. And Then We Heard the Thunder (3:51)
6. In the last Hours Before Dawn (5:13)
7. Conspiracy of Hate (5:03)
8. When the Hunter becomes the Hunted (6:43)
9. Return of the Filth Hounds (4:22)
10. The Blood's Still on Their Hands (5:52)
11. The Fear Inside (3:36)
"Still At War" is the title of the first new studio album from Tank since 1987's self-titled album. It is also a proclamation from a band that they are still fighting the preverbal heavy metal battle; freak flags flying high. As would be expected from the NWOBHM legends this album is chock-full of old-school heavy metal driven by the nasty snarl of Algy Ward. Simplistic and heavy riffs, a pounding rhythm section and an overall ferociousness is what this album is built around. This was Tank proving they still has some gas in the tank and some ammunition to fire.
The album opens with an up-tempo, politically-charged, anthemic song. This song was the first single from the album and rightly so. The song has a hooky sing-along chorus and an infectious riff. "Light the Fire (Watch 'em Burn)" is a barn-stormer and one of the band's best songs since the "Filth Hounds" album. Raw, heavy and loosely delivered, this is exactly what I want to hear from these guys. "And Then We Heard the Thunder" and "Return of the Filth Hounds" are easily two of the best tracks on the album. The later is a full speed onslaught with the slight punk vibe that made the band's debut so enthralling. Other standout cuts are "Conspiracy of Hate" and "The Fear Inside".
Some bands return after a long hiatus and release new material that are cringe worthy. Some release material that is good but can't hold a candle to their classic catalog. With Tank, this album is easily one of their best. It many not be able to crush the nostalgic grip many will hold for those early records, but in reality it's as good and better than some of their 80's material.