July 19, 2020

Tankard - The Morning After (1988)

*First pressing. 
Contains 12 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Thrash Metal
.FLAC via Mega (Link)
.AAC 256 kbps via Mega (Link)

© 1988 Noise International
Review by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein for Metal-Temple.com
As the 80s drew to a close, TANKARD continued with their salvo of albums, time after time, finding angles within the compilation of Punk and Thrash Metal, elevating themselves slowly to the grand podium of European Metal. After a rather short period of time, while rivers of beer had been flowing, the Germans issued “The Morning After” in 1988. The album marked another vantage point for the band, which had already massively integrated within the Thrash Metal scene in their country and beyond. Furthermore, as an addition to this special remastered version by Noise Records, the 1989’s EP “Alien” was also included as a double, proving that the TANKARD was never empty in the first place.

The alcoholic explosion that caused the emergence of “The Morning After” saw TANKARD as virtually more aggressive. In contrast to “Chemical Invasion”, it appeared that the Punk element became chief once more, dominant as on the “Zombie Attack” debut. “The Morning After”, in majority, is a fast speeding bullet, causing the band to inflict mayhem of riffs and rapidly paced beats on every occasion. Quite an exhilarating experience due to the amounts of energy spilled. However, there is a downside, even if not that fundamental in the band’s case. Similar to what I crossed with in the debut, there is a measure of repetitiveness in the tunes, especially the gang choruses that are more or less predicted and a selection of the riffs. On the other hand, and it also happened previously, every once in awhile TANKARD comes out with that creative phase, moments of ingenuity, creating several songs that are beyond their normal outputs. Whether through diversifying the arrangements or composing different styled riffing, it was enough to conjure that there is something special about these guys, other than mere Punk / Thrash addicted. On “The Morning After” I was pleased to notice that it the phenomenon materialized quite often.

Though I listened to it with the same amount of attention as I did the first time my ears were struck by its might, the self-titled, “The Morning After”, came back like a hidden memory. An aggressive thrasher, fueled by drunken Punk and sheer conviction. There is nothing to regret with the headache of the morning after, everything around is a pile of junk anyway. “Feed The Lohocla” is no less than a Heavy Metal show of force, a mesmerizing Thrash Metal meets IRON MAIDEN influenced tune, immensely melodic and rather varied in comparison to what the band offered years back. Actually, it is rather similar to what they are focused on nowadays, a constructive form of music alongside their usual generated fun. “F.U.N.” on the other hand turns backwards to the debut. A deliverance of Punk / Speed Metal with a whole lot of humor. There are a few traditional Metal aspects yet the course of action is to never stop, always bash like a total moshing machine. The cover for the German Punk band SPERMBIRDS, “Try Again”, wasn’t a surprise really. It stuck to the band’s plan and they pulled it off quite well, producing a catchy tune with easy living riffing, a fine melodic line and even an overall optimistic sense. The what seemed to me as Anti-Religious, or the institution of religion, “Help Yourself” neatly crossed between gross Punk towards melodic speedy Heavy Metal, rather interesting riffing and quite a venture towards using keyboards in the background. Be sure to check: “Commandments”, “TV Hero” and “Shit-Faced”.

It was a great decision to add in this version the “Alien” EP. Other than its better sound production, it didn’t bring anything new to the table as far the band’s heritage is concerned, yet it generated some neat songs. “(Empty) Tankard”, second version, and trust me that it wasn’t the last, of the debut album’s proud achievement. The same played version was also featured on the famous East Berlin show in 1990, killer and a heavily energetic. “666 Packs” maintains the swinging between Punk and Metal, quite memorable with a set of addictive riffing, appetized by a well done solo, and a crushing chorus. First time that I notice that a Hard Rock tune is covered other than solely Punk. TANKARD paid tribute for the AC/DC influenced Swiss ROSE TATTOO with the song “Remedy”. Managing to Thrash this one around, this is an ample effort for this old Rock N’ Roll classic.

Entering the 90s and nothing seemed to be in the way of the Frankfurt band. They kept to their own, lived the life of alcohol and Metal, and still happily doing so. “The Morning After” may as well be one of their top offering of the 80s, a heavy dosage of Thrash Metal without compromises.

tags: tankard, the morning after, 1988, flac,

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