NWOBHM Band of the Week - 19th June 2009: Tank (Part 3)

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21. Jun. 2009, 18:51

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In Part 1 of this journal entry, I took a brief look at Algy Ward's pre-Tank career with The Saints and The Damned. In Part 2, I mentioned Tank's vigourous early touring schedule and perused the band's first three singles. Today I will discuss Filth Hounds of Hades.

Filth Hounds of Hades



Having found favour with the successful Motörhead, Tank found themselves recording Filth Hounds of Hades from Dec '81 to Jan '82 with "Fast" Eddie Clarke producing. Given the strong Motörhead connection then, it won't come as too much of a surprise to find a noticeable similarity between the two bands.

Shellshock (youtube) kicks things off with some atypical fake tribal chanting before running into the main part of the track. Forgetting Algy Ward's prior punk connection and any segregated feeling among British music fans of the time, the bulk of the track is typical nwobhm of above average calibre and a bit of a Motörhead leaning.

Struck by Lightning (youtube) continues in a similar vein. There's little to really add to the description at this point.

Run Like Hell (youtube) notably ends the chorus with the lone word 'run' repeated several times, which could be interpreted as a little repetitive, but the delivery of Ward's voice is nicely varied so one could just as easily find it a catchy brilliant chorus.

Blood, Guts and Beer (youtube) was discussed in part yesterday. It's something of an intended drinking anthem and has ended up achieving just that for many people. This one is perhaps regarded as one of the most enduringly popular tracks on the album.

T.W.D.A.M.O. (youtube, standing for That's What Dreams Are Made Of) is a much needed change of pace bringing the tempo down below compulsory Motörhead comparison bpm, though there's still reason to make that comparison with some guitar parts reminding me of Motörhead's (I Won't) Pay Your Price. Up until this point we've had a reasonably sparse dose of guitar solos, but we finally get a long one from Peter Brabbs and it's pretty sweet. Peter's solo is a fairly slow paced affair, dancing over the relentless, monotonous bass line kept up by Ward. I've yet to see a review of the album that doesn't quote the interesting first line of this track, so I'll spare you that. There's a brief interesting low spoken part just before the solo that reminds me a little of The Who's cover of Summertime Blues, not that the deep spoken vocal adds a lot to the track in this case, but it isn't repeated much by the band.

Turn Your Head Around is exactly the same as the version released as a single.

Heavy Artillery has become something of an anthem, another of the most enduringly popular tracks on the album.


Who Needs Love Song (youtube) is another welcome change of pace, with a nice just slightly funky metal sounding riff, but predictable lyrics. "Who needs love songs/Who needs love songs/Who needs love songs/I do" It reminds me a little of a song from the Simpsons about the Kwik-e-mart, but Tank were obviously first.

Filth Hounds of Hades (youtube) - the title track - is another Motörhead-esque rattler and pleasing to fans of difficult to define heavy rock/proto-thrash...much like a large number of nwobhm bands. Ward's vocal doesn't mirror Lemmy much here though, he never quite has the low croaky vocal of the Kilmister, though the difficult to describe punk/metal blend of influences, actually leaning more toward punk doesn't totally separate the two frontmen/bassists.

(He Fell in Love With a) Stormtrooper is similar to the single version, but is in fact a different recording. It's still regarded by many as a classic, that hasn't changed since yesterday's journal.

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Kommentare

  • GrantRS

    I still haven't finished this, you know? :P Probably a must have for every Motorhead fan too this one though. They seem to appeal to a lot of thrash bands...I've seen them listed as an influence lots of times and ocassionally the Filth Hounds cover appears on t-shirts on artist images, can't remember where exactly but I'm pretty sure it was more than one thrash band. As for covers, Sodom have covered Turn Your Head Around and Don't Walk Away. (search youtube for "tank cover" and you'll find both of those). Don't know how many other covers are out there.

    22. Jun. 2009, 20:49
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