Released: 2002, AFM Records
Editors Note: Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any websites were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It is a monumental achievement for a Metal band to write, record, produce and release 10 albums. The vast majority of Metal bands never make it that far or survive that long. So naturally it is a cause for celebration, having one’s 10th birthday, (and 20th anniversary!) hence the album title. Although I suspect with Tankard the ‘B’ in ‘B-day’ might also stand for ‘beer’ as well!
After a short lived two-album stint on Century Media, the band regroup on the AFM record label. New guitarist, Andy G, is fully settled in and the band seem to be a bit reinvigorated. The package is very nice and the band have kept their new mascot (the fat guy) that they introduced on the last album and the little green alien mascot makes an appearance for the first time in ten years since STONE COLD SOBER. I’m glad he is back on the funny cover. Some versions of B-DAY have a bonus disc with all sorts of cool extra stuff, old demos and so on.
The band finally after nine albums with Harris Johns made a change and hired veteran Metal producer Andy Classen (Holy Moses, Dew Scented, dozens more) to man the board and there is a slightly altered new, perhaps cleaner, more modern production sheen, but only marginally so. Classen is smart enough not to mess with the bands sound too much, but a fresh pair of ears is always appreciated. The record sounds great!
Lyrically the band returns to alcohol fueled themes with the highlight having to be ‘Ugly Fat And Still Alive’, a clever reference to their first live album. The lyrics talk about 20 years of thrashing out and drop in song titles from across their career. I love it when bands self-reference and make a song that is a list of their old material. It’s like the ultimate in-joke that posers will never get. Also stayed tuned for the brief, hidden joke track at the end of ‘Alcoholic Nightmares’!
B-DAY is classic Tankard, fired up, ready to drink and thrash the night away and kill a few posers (and braincells) along the way. The pace is bit faster than the past couple of records and Gerre still showing a slightly different vocal delivery, keeping away from his strained and manic highs. This is the album many fans had been waiting a few years for. B-DAY saw the band refreshed and launched a long and stable run of albums on AFM.