NWOBHM WEDNESDAY: TANK
If you've never had the pleasure of having your eardrums assaulted by Filth Hounds Of Hades I want you to stop what your doing and go track down a copy right now. Try Youtube for clips. I'll be waiting. Back now? Yeah, Tank are a bit like the rock and roll/heavy metal sound found in Motorhead. For better or worse this NWOBHM band would draw comparisons to Motorhead throughout their early career which in my mind isn't such a band thing. Though it should be noted these days they sound more like another NWOBHM act (Saxon) so do with that what you will! Formed by bass player Algy Ward ( of legendary punk band The Damned) Filth Hounds Of Hades drew favor with critics and has gone on to become another highly influential heavy metal release. I first tracked down a copy after hearing Sodom cover the Tank classic "Don't Walk Away". Sodom at the time was a favorite of mine and their choice to cover a band called Tank well I had to find out more (again you kids today don't know how great you have it with the Internet right at your fingers). It took me some digging and a lot of back and forth trips to local record stores but I finally found info on the band and picked up a copy of this album. Sadly my copy was lost to the ages some time ago. While I have a digital copy it's an album I'd love to have on CD. Anyway, following this release Tank went the way of many other similar bands and more or less faded away. Nothing ever topped this album for them. While their follow-up
Power of the Hunter is a fine enough release the band failed to catch on with fans. By the time This Means War came out the band were moving away from their Motorhead sound and towards a more melodic sound. In fact their last album War Machine is a far cry from the street metal assault of Filth Hounds. While I liked it I do miss their early hardcore rock and roll style. And given the fact that Algy is no longer with the group makes it harder for me to still consider Tank to be...well, Tank. For a moment in time Tank were another great and praise worthy NWOBHM band and every young kid out there should own a copy of Filth Hounds Of Hades if they are into metal.
Metal Mark says-
If you pick a name like Tank then you better be heavy enough to live up to such a title and in their early days this band sure did. I remember seeing a guy at a record store with the Tank logo painted on the back of his leather jacket. I had not heard them yet, but was interested. My first encounter with Tank was when I bought their 1987 self-titled album on cassette shortly after it came out. It was decent, but not quite what I was hoping for. Then I picked up their 1984 album "Honour and blood" and the double anthology "Armour Plated" both on vinyl these were more like it. The raw fury and the simple yet hard hitting riffs had me hooked. Their early stuff was the heaviest and they certainly were likened to Motorhead at the time. As they went along they became lighter in sound. I don't know if they just branched out or were aiming for a wider audience or a combination of those two. Either way the sound changed and their appeal wasn't what it once was. No offences to guitarists Mick Tucker and Cliff Evans, but I prefered Tank when they were a three piece with Algy Ward and Peter and Mark Brabbs. That early smash mouth sound just worked so well and it still holds up very well. Nowadays it's hard to really consider the current line-up as being Tank since Algy Ward is no longer there, there are no original members left in the band and they sound nothing like they once did. Either way they left behind a fine leagacy with their early work.