Unlike their labelmates Lost Society, Tankard are a thrash band that seem to have forgotten how to be serious and have fun at the same time. As a result, their new album R.I.B. is just not that fun to listen to.
You can tell the people involved are very talented – guitarist Andreas Gutjahr’s solos prove this point, as does bassist Frank Thorwarth’s ability to match the somewhat complicated rhythms note for note – but the problem is that they’re trying so fucking hard to be serious, and as a result, dragging the music down. The album doesn’t start getting good until the title track’s gang chant section blares from the speakers. Unfortunately, Tankard waste a good opportunity to be heavy as shit and instead rehash the verse rhythm.
“Riders of the Doom” is the first out-and-out solid song on the record, the only drawback being that the extended solo pales in comparison to the tiny solos used earlier in the song as flavoring. “Hope Can’t Die” is a mishmash of parts that don’t really seem to work together; the slower verse and the lyrics blend perfectly, but when the tempo picks up, the track just becomes pedestrian in nature. “Breakfast For Champions” features a decent chorus, but little else of note. By the time “The Party Ain’t Over ‘Til We Say So” begins, I’m convinced no one had the heart to tell Tankard that the party ended a while ago.
It’s supremely disappointing that players with such talent let it go to waste by trying too hard. That said, there’s enough decent material on R.I.B. to warrant hope for a solid follow-up.
R.I.B. is out now on Nuclear Blast Records.
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars