Tank - Breath of the Pit (Southworld)

Bow down... the original Filth Hound is back!
Release Date: 
2 Jun 2013 - 11:30pm

Well I guess it had to happen. Algy Ward, the former Damned bassist who formed Tank at the height of the NWOBHM only to find the band almost constantly hamstrung by bad management and, um, ‘health’ problems, has gone and got his arse into gear and put something out after three or four years of chuntering to no one in particular about the injustice of former Tank crew members Cliff Evans and Mick Tucker going out under the banner and releasing a couple of albums without his consent. So now we’ve got two Tanks for the price of one – bargain!

Except of course it isn’t. The optmum finish to all this would be for Ward, Evans and Tucker to bury the hatchet (though not, hopefully, in the back of each other’s skulls) and get back together, because without doubt having two versions of Tank is doing nobody any favours.  But enough of my fourth division diplomacy – lets have a listen to the record.

The first thing to note is that (perhaps unsurprisingly) this Mark of Tank is much truer to the original vision of the band. If, like me, you found the other veesion of Tank a bit slick, a bit safe, a bit of a Saladin Armoured car when what was required was a fucking great big Tiger, then you’ll be pleased. There’s no Dougie White posturing about with his Byford and Dio stylings here for a start; Ward’s battered larynx does all the throat work here, lending the tunes that all important stamp of authenticity as he rants on about Stalingrad, T-34s and the duplicity of his former band members on the splendid Crawl Back Into Your Hole. Every song sounds like it was written in 1982, apart from the strangely named instrumental Circle of Willis, which sounds like the theme tune to Scotch Cop series Rebus (I kid you not, it really does); and whilst that again is obviously part of Algy’s plan, maybe the technology could have been cranked up a little so that the drum machine being used here sounded a little more human?

That’s a small grievance though compared to the joy I’m feeling to have Algy back and blowing just like something from hell out of my speakers (sorry… I couldn’t resist that). He’s the grimy heart and soul of Tank, and it’s good to have him back, even if the Special Brew fumes are making my eyes water…