TANKARD “Pavlov’s Dawgs”

By Dr. Abner Mality

TANKARD is off the wagon and back in action! Always loved these boozy German bastards and I rank “Chemical Invasion” and “The Morning After” as two of the greatest German thrash records ever. They’ve slowed down a tad since those halcyon days, but they still know how to deliver an entertaining belt of metal brew, as the oddly named “Pavlov’s Dawgs” shows.

The title track starts with a deliberate pace...a trademark on this album...but finally kicks in to a good headbanging gallop. The manic vocals of longtime frontman Gerre seem to me to be slightly subdued here and that patterns holds up throughout the album. The delivery is a bit more relaxed and even seems to have a slightly “sad” feel. It doesn’t hurt the music, but it is noticeable.

The album keeps the thrash rolling and I think this album is quicker than their last effort. Tracks like “Beerbarians” , “Diary of a Nihilist” and the romping “Lockdown Forever” breeze right along and the production is full and thick, especially the bass, which is really sounding fat. Many songs start slow and then speed up. “Momento” has the slowest buildup but then explodes into the fastest thrash on the album. “Metal Cash Machine” and “On the Day I Die” are longer tracks that have a more serious, epic side. The goofy humor of the band is still there, but there’s generally a more sober tone...I know, it’s a shock, coming from these tipsy thrashers. Maybe it’s just the time we live in.

I wouldn’t put this close to the two great albums I mentioned in the first paragraph, but goddamn, it’s TANKARD to the bone, so belly up to the bar and get another shot!