Mini Reviews-Bunker 66 and Tank
Bunker 66-Out of the bunker
Hailing from Italy this act reminds me of a bunch of guys got together one night to come up with a few songs that honored their influence. This was probably a result of sitting around listening to lots of albums ranging from Hellhammer to Venom to early Sodom to pre-Reign in blood Slayer and also including some hardcore like Discharge, The Exploited and Broken Bones. The result are six tracks of primitive blackened hardcore thrash metal that might have well been recorded in 1985 if I don't know different. Even the sound quality has that slightly rough feel around the edges that was on so many independent metal releases around twenty-five years ago. The vocals are slightly more clean than you may expect for this style, but just raspy enough to compliment the overall sound. The music does contain a few more involved passages too that show the band is more versatile than I figured. The lyrics range from drinking to radioactivity to war so nothing that new for this musical genre. This release was more powerful than I was expecting and the skill level is solid even if they are not breaking any new ground. So if you're in the mood for old style thrash with some bite then this is a band to check out.
It's always a touchy situation when a band is in the position of attempting to soldier on with no original members. Doesn't happen that often, but it does happen and usually I am left wondering if the band in question should be allowed to use the name or not? Well, here we are with a version of Tank without vocalist/bass player Algy Ward. His voice was so much a part of their classic early 80's sound. In the new line-up we have guitarists Mick Tucker and Cliff Evans who were in the band from 1983 to 1987 and then both came back when the band started back up in 1997 and have been with the group since then. Completing the line-up are bassist Chris Dale (Atom Seed, Bruce Dickinson), drummer Dave Cavill (Zodiac Mindwarp) and journeyman vocalist Doogie White (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteetn, Praying Mantis and a pile of others. If you are expecting Filth hound of Hades then you may be disappointed. Early Tank reminded me of Motorhead, but this album reminds me of another British band and that is Saxon. That's mainly due to the fact that Doogie White sounds a lot like Biff Byford. Also if you are expecting the chugging heaviness of early you may be surprised because of the tracks here are mid-paced although with a strong classic metal style always present. This may not sound like the Tank of the NWOBHM era, but it's still very good. Whether or not it should be called Tank is debatable, but there is no doubt that this is a fine slab of metal.