Tankard - 'Vol(l)ume 14' (AFM Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Darrel Sutton   
Monday, 06 December 2010 05:00

TankardOh dear, this really does cause me great pain.  Not the record itself but the mere fact that it's Tankard that have recorded it.  Anyone who knows my musical history will know that Tankard have been as close to Thrash Gods as it's possible to get in my eyes.


However, now it would seem their latest play on words (Voll = Full in German for any Xenophobes out there) has become horribly prophetic, as this album is the sound of a band sadly bloated and lumbering.  OK over the years Tankard released a few very ordinary albums following their timeless classics like 'Chemical Invasion' and 'The Morning After' but even then they still had a knack of turning out at least a couple of crackers each time round ('Die With A Beer In Your Hand' anyone?).  Furthermore their last opus 'Thirst' was a stunning return to form, brimming with energy and great songs aplenty.  Which makes Vol(l)ume 14 all the more disappointing.  Opener 'Time Warp' makes the right noises but by mid song it just seems flat.  The riffs that power 'Rules For Fools' and 'Fat Snatchers (The Hippo Effect)' really would struggle to pull a pint let alone a rabid crowd and the ironic alcohol-themed humour that has formed Tankard's staple subject matter over the years really does feel somewhat uncomfortable supported by such weak song structures.  There are some brighter moments in 'Becks In The City' and 'Condemnation' but they aren't gonna be up there in the annals of Thrash alongside the likes of 'Shitfaced', 'Freibier', 'Alien' and 'Empty Tankard' any time soon.


Unfortunately instead of the Voll of the album title I fear that the band right now is more of the aforementioned Empty Tankard.  I certainly hope not, I really do, but an album full of half-baked riffs and phoned-in vocals doesn't exactly make the Tankard overfloweth.