Released: 2000, Century Media 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!
The new Millennium sees Tankard on a roll, in the middle of a stretch of brewing up beer fuelled thrash albums at the pace of roughly one every two years. KINGS OF BEER is the bands ninth album and sees a few changes.
This was to be the band last album on Century Media, not a perfect fit, in my mind and it saw the exit of Andy B. (guitar) who did the first eight Tankard albums and saw him replaced with Andy G. (guitar) who did the next eight (and counting) Tankard albums. The cover is funny and slightly repulsive, and the booklet is very nice with some hilarious photo-shopped images of the band superimposed on the body of the new mascot. That’s right the band has now introduced yet another mascot, (their fourth!) namely the ‘Fat Guy’, who joins the ranks of the little green alien, the mad scientist/brewmaster, and the ogre. All of them make various appearances now and again on various album covers.
Lyrically the band still struggles with awkward song titles like ‘Hot Dog Inferno’, ‘Incredible Loudness’ (a remake of an old demo track) and ‘Tattoo Coward’. The album title is actually a very clever play on words of the Budweiser brand beer slogan, ‘King Of Beers’. What a difference one letter can make! Aside from that minor complaint, the lyrics are the usual mix of politics and humour and of course beer. I think that Tankard is the only band that could write a song about being afraid of getting a tattoo and pull it off.
KINGS OF BEER is one of many virtually interchangeable Thrash albums in the bands long career. The band seem a bit revitalized with the introduction of former Lightmare guitarist Andy G, as the album is an improvement over the past couple of albums, (THE TANKARD, DISCO DESTROYER) which were considered by many a bit of a lull in the bands output. The old-school thrash solos and drumbeats rush the short songs along, with Gere howling away at the microphone, his distinct voice now inextricably identified with the band. The production is pretty consistent as well with the bands sound and vision because this is the ninth album in a row the band used Harris Johns as producer!
Tankard can quite legitimately lay claim to being the Kings of Beer and this album KINGS OF BEER was a strong and welcome return to form.