Keep Breaking Down
Posted on Thursday August 20th, 2009
The Tanks - Keep Breaking Down Artwork
Scenester Credentials, 2009
Score: 6.8 / 10
* The Tanks Official Site
* The Tanks's SPB Profile
With only two studio albums thus far, I'm not really comfortable referring to The Future of the Left has an influential band, but only a few seconds into The Tanks Keep Breaking Down and I'm thinking clearly of the Welsh band. The guitars aren't quite as interesting, and singer Kevin Koppes doesn't accentuate as much, but the speak-sing, monologue-style vocals are easily comparable, as is the high energy, short attention span attitude.
It's rock music with a definite metal influence, but they keep a pop structure that relies on melody and driving energy instead of solos and headbangs. At times the guitars make me thing of mid-era Faith No More, but mostly its heavy rock with an arrogant swagger and less pretention. More than any stylistic innovations, The Tanks want you to have fun while they play. It's clever and well executed - just not really my thing. “Action Delay” gets rolling with some catchy hooks and “Kingdom of Spite” has some nice rhythms, but there just aren't enough memorable hooks on the record - it tends to drone instead of drive.
A problem is that Koppes' voice gets a little tiresome, as it never changes pitch and all of the songs are generally structured the same. The record is only eight songs, but it still begins to feel a little too long once you get about half way through. Similarly, the longer the song is, the less interesting I tend to find them. The Tanks strength is in working their way succinctly through melodies instead of trying to stretch them out.
Keep Breaking Down comes in a gato pak, which is somewhat unique, but I find to be even more annoying than a digipak even if the liner notes are more accessible. The art, however, is screen printed and different on CD and vinyl, which is cool.
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