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'R.I.B. (Rest In Beer)'
(Nuclear Blast Records)
Out Now

Johnny Main

johnny main


Tankard have been around since 1982 and have been consistently releasing albums since their 1986 debut, 'Zombie Attack'.
It's not unfair to say that the band don't take themselves too seriously and that they do enjoy a beer (or five) and writing songs about drinking beer. It'll come as no surprise then that their sixteenth release, 'R.I.B. (Rest In Beer)', doesn't radically change this formula (or should that be ingredients!) – and for that, I'm more than happy.

'R.I.B. (Rest In Beer)' can essentially be split into distinct sections featuring fast numbers, mid-paced ones and, as you'd expect, the ubiquitous slower ones. The first part is where all the faster songs are showcased. Kicking off with 'War Cry' which has a slow intro with some lyrical guitar from Andreas Gutjahr before the tempo accelerates as the main guitar riff takes hold. Drummer Olaf Zissel has his work cut out for himself here as he holds down the ferocious beat, but it never slips and shows his skill behind the kit.

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Likewise, 'Enemy Of Order' is relentless as the band power through the track hardly pausing for breath. The track owes something of a debt to (the mighty) Judas Priest of which the guitar hook is reminiscent. That's not being unkind to Tankard, of course, as the song itself is a belter. It's got an easy to remember chorus which helps the track along and the guitar solo from Gutjahr is well performed.

Let's not forget 'No One Hit Wonder' either. It has another punishing performance from Zissel as the drums relentlessly drive the song. The self-deprecating lyrics bemoan the fact the band's been together for thirty years and not had a hit song yet, but they continue on undaunted. It's attributes like that that you have to admire Tankard for, and let's face it, they've never really "sold out" to get a hit single which you can't say about all Metal bands these days, eh?

'Breakfast For Champions', written about beer of course, has a meatier sound than some of the other tracks with the rhythm guitar very much in the background. Geremia gives one of this best performances here, and the easy to remember chorus is simply the title sung over and over again. It may be described as "Tankard By Numbers", but it still makes for an enjoyable listening experience.


There are a couple of mid-paced numbers here too that break up the faster numbers. Highlights here include the title track, 'R.I.B. (Rest In Beer)', which has an almost choral sound in the middle and end which makes this track stand out. Gutjahr plays a great solo settling into a slower instrumental section before the pace picks back up during the chorus. All good stuff and worthy of being the title track.

'Riders Of The Doom' is a similar tempo but still manages to trip along at a fair pace. Again it's Gutjahr who shines here as the lead guitar track drives the early part of the song before the vocals from Andreas "Gerre" Geremia take over.

'Hope Can't Die' is probably the slowest number here, and features bass player Frank Thorwarth leading the way before the vocals, guitar and drums join in. Who is this song about? I'm not really sure but it shows the band in serious mood reflecting on death and its effect on those left behind. Geremia puts in a great performance here, and the song isn't morose or self pitying but rather upbeat and honest which is refreshing.

Of course, it'd be wrong to end on that serious note like that. It's just not the Tankard way, is it? Likewise the last song on the album is the fitting finale, 'The Party Ain't Over 'Til We Say So', which sums up this band, really. After thirty years of partying Tankard show no signs of calling "last orders" on their career, which can only be a good thing.

Their visibility in the UK may not be the greatest but that's because they've unfortunately not played in the UK since 2009 so this band, more than any other, deserves a spot at Donington in June – and if not this year then how about next year? The campaign for "Tankard at Download" begins here!

You can see the official video for 'R.I.B. (Rest In Beer)' here:

You can see Tankard live here:
Friday 29th May – Batschkapp, Frankfurt
Friday 5th June – Out & Loud-Festival, Geiselwind
Saturday 25th July – Rock unter den Eichen, Bertingen

'Rest In Beer' Tracklist:
War Cry
Fooled By Your Guts
R.I.B. (Rest in Beer)
Riders of the Doom
Hope Can't Die
No One Hit Wonder
Breakfast for Champions
Enemy of Order
Clockwise to Deadline
The Party Ain't Over 'Til We Say So

Tankard are:
Andreas "Gerre" Geremia – Vocals
Andreas Gutjahr – Guitar
Frank Thorwarth – Bass Guitar
Olaf Zissel – Drums

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