July 19, 2020

Tankard - Zombie Attack (1986) ⚓

*U.S first pressing on CD. 
Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Thrash Metal
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.AAC 256 kbps via Mega (Link)


© 1986-1988 Noise
Reviewed by 'Charles" for Metal Reviews.com
So here is the storming debut by Tankard, a band who probably get far more affection than awe, having never been recognised as a top-tier thrash act by… anyone, really, except for that small but admirable number of people for whom the only fitting accompaniment for German thrash metal is liver failure. According to Metal Archives, “the band chose their name after looking through a dictionary and seeing a word defined as ‘beer mug’”. Strangely, it is not hard to imagine Tankard doing exactly this.
This came out in 1986, and because there are so many other thrash classics of that time, Zombie Attack is probably in danger of getting well and truly overlooked. This is a danger they bring on themselves to a certain extent, with the lame cover art, idiotic lyrics, and the cheesy opening soundbite in which a drunk guy turns off a horror film, only to find that he is under attack in the real world by “brutal zombies shouting so hard”. It doesn’t scream “thrash classic” at you. But as soon as the actual metal turns up this kick starts a thrash album that is massively catchy and energetic. The riffs bounce along infectiously, and the choruses are the brilliantly stupid two-word shoutalongs. Nothing epitomises this more than Mercenary, quite possibly my favourite thrash song of all time, and something I feel has almost made the last 24 years of musical development redundant in three minutes and twenty seven seconds. So punkily simplistic it causes ebooks to burst into flames, and so catchy it is danger of wiping out the dolphins, this song also carries a profound message of caution for those people who may have been complacent about hired killers. For this song alone, the world owes Tankard big.
Unfortunately I hadn’t heard the rest of the album until this evening, a day before the review has to go up, because ever since hearing Mercenary I have had it on repeat, making it difficult to work or sleep, let alone listen to tracks four-through-ten. They continue largely along the same trajectory, but there is a trio of consecutive tunes whose titles basically sum Tankard up. Alcohol, (are the band for or against it? The lyrics reveal here that they offer it cautious support) turns into their signature tune, (Empty) Tankard, a crowd-igniting high point with exuberant speed and a really exquisite chorus. And then, Thrash ‘Til Death turns things right around, being a gentle but emotional power balled augmented by a children’s choir and given a sense of mystery by its modal harmonies.
I’ve started to think that if a thrash album is any good you should run out of things to say about it pretty quickly. Yeah, it’s fast! Yeah, it’s fun! Yeah, it ‘s Beer Mug! Sorry, Tankard.

tags: tankard, zombie attack, 1986, flac,