Tank86 - Obey
Instrumental music is an incredibly difficult genre to master, with many bands finding themselves stuck between self-indulgent pleasuring and songs with no real beginning, middle, or end, and let’s not forget the constant comparisons to Karma To Burn! So when a band enters the playing area with a different set of rules in their back pocket, it’s important that they be celebrated, and with their second full-length record, Dutch rockers Tank86 have set serious bench markers in the field.
Their debut record Rise saw the band (pardon the pun) ahem, rise (oh dear) to wide spread attention and acclaim supporting bands from Dozer to Pelican and Monster Magnet, and with their new record, Obey, Tank86 have taken onboard all of the ensuing anticipation and expectancy that came along with their debut, and completely destroyed all obstacles in their way. Take a track such as ‘Piledriver’ for instance; a song starting at a frenetic scuzzy pace, building into a metal onslaught of riffs, layered under heavier riffs, all the while sticking firmly to their ideal of playing songs focussing on riffs and the journey of headbanging. Riffs!
What happens when you need to break up the onslaught of guitar solos? Why, add some trumpet of course! As odd as it may seem, as ‘Conquistador’ strays into a jazz-metal-instrumental daydream funk, the band just make it work, with the wind pipes standing like a lone figure in a barren landscape, a moment of hope for the destructed masses.
The record is summed up perfectly with the track ‘Gilgamesh’ with its heavy riffs, built upon solid song structures that make you forget about lyrics entirely, followed by more driving riffs, at times empowering, at times destroying, and ending with a smash to the face.
Obey is an album created on its own terms. Future instrumental reviews will now compare every band to Tank86!
Apewards – Humanzee
The second EP release from German group Apewards carries a sound buried deep in mature, whiskey soaked retro vibes, echoing elements of late 70’s blues, early stoner, and a classic rock that coarses through the back bone of many vinyl collectors library of work.
Opening with the excellent heavy laid-back rock of ‘Abiding Brain Freeze’, the song captures everything the band is capable of doing, with heavy-psychedelic sounding vocals of Nico Gehle, mixed in with varying stages of stoner and blues rock’n’roll instrumentation; if the band create their full-length debut following the blueprint of ‘Abiding Brain Freeze’ I will put my house on it being the perfect record!
There seems to be a primate theme within their work (Apewards, ‘Silverback Song’, ‘Melvin The Mucky Monkey’, ‘Humanzee’) but their sound is one to be taken seriously as they are developing into a band with a serious ear for heavy classic rock. Combine Humanzee with 2013’s Carpenter Of Tripolis and you’ve got a band with some serious potential in them. We’re looking forward to seeing where Apewards go next.
Snake Thursday - Iter
Sneaking a release in at the back end of last year meant that this record got lost under mounds of ‘End of Year lists’ and put on the back burner, but with a sound this heavy, the record was not going to stay dormant for very long.
Hailing from Poznań, Poland, the trio’s sound is built around heavy, thick, dirty bass riffs, you know the kind that reverberate your spine? That kind. Combining the best elements of stoner fuzz and hints of old school metal, Snake Thursday have created a cacophony of noise with Iter, beginning with the heavy stoner fuzz of ‘Planemos’, through the heavy stoner fuzz of ‘Ego Trip’ to the heavy stoner fuzz of ‘Cosmogonist’s Apprentice’: the album is one massive headfuck of dirty rock.
Snake Thursday are not afraid to strip everything down to their bare basics: a song such as ‘Implode The Earth’ is a metal track played on bass guitar essentially, wanting nothing more that to peel the skin back from your face, one satisfying shred at a time. The groovy bass blues of ‘More Than Human’ even encourages you to dance around in a zero-gravity induced trip of head-banging and fuzzed-out riffs.
In similar vain to Dozer and a metaller Kyuss, Snake Thursday are a band making a statement of intent in the stoner scene: heavy, fuzzy, and downright addictive!