Released: 2014, Nuclear Blast
You can never only have one tankard of beer, so I have reviewed the last couple of Tankard albums this month. Check out my review of A GIRL CALLED CERVEZA as well!
I really think over time for a number of intellectual reasons, Tankard has become my preferred of the German Big Four of Thrash. Even though I love Kreator, they went weird and alternative for a number of years in the 90’s. Destruction imploded and barely survived the 90’s and Sodom had a bit too much punk influence for my liking at times. Tankard is more prolific, more consistent and more fun.
R.I.B. (Rest In Beer, naturally) is the bands 16th album. Talk about prolific! Think about it, Tankard are the second most prolific thrash band of all time, just behind Overkill with 17 albums. That is damn impressive. They have had an album every two years since 1998 and they have had the same line-up since 1998 as well. They are still on Nuclear Blast so virtually nothing has changed; the logo is the same, they have a cool cartoon-like album cover, the lyrics are still about a range of topics from comedic to political and yes, it’s all about the beer. Even their mad brewmaster mascot, first introduced in 1987 on CHEMICAL INVASION, is back gracing the cover art. Tankard have a ton of images associated with them; beer, the tankard, the alien, the ogre, the fat man... but this is the first time we have seen the mad brewmaster since 1990 when he appeared the cover of THE MEANING OF LIFE.
In one sense this is almost a non-review of R.I.B. Tankard epitomizes thrash, never wavering, always fun…and there are so few musical differences between albums, if you like one album, you are sure to like them all. I feel the last album they really had any sort of significant change in style was about the same time everything stabilized around the turn of the century. This means the last eight albums are pretty interchangeable. Some people might see this as a flaw but not me. Tankard have perfected their signature sound and have never faltered from doing what they do best, just pure thrash.
Gerre strained vocals never let up, the band never slows down and probably never will. In fact the last song on the brief, 10-track, 40-minute album is called ‘The Party Isn’t Over ‘til We Say So’ including the line, ‘Fuck Off! We’re here to stay!’. Thank Beer for that. Tankard rule.