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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
That Fucking Tank
The Day of Death by Bono Adrenaline Shock
Jealous Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


January 30, 2006
Some of you less monogamous LAS readers will remember that Pitchfork recently ran an article featuring the worst album covers of all time. From the wacky to the sublime to the downright ridiculous, it showed us how easily the egos of the artists we listen to can be warped, and it was all very funny. It also got me thinking - why stop at album covers? Why not name and shame the musical world's most ludicrously titled artists and their equally daft album titles? Acid Mothers Temple would surely pop up once or twice, as would contemporary indie contenders Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. It would make for an interesting, albeit nonsensical, breakdown.

That Fucking Tank make a solid case for their inclusion on such a list with their preposterously-titled new album, The Day of Death by Bono Adrenaline Shock. Though I may have fallen victim to Chinese whispers, I understand That Fucking Tank to have taken their album title from a quote, in which Bono claimed that the adrenaline rush that he personally experiences when performing with U2 was enough to kill most men. Hmm. Death by adrenaline shock, eh? So are we to assume that That Fucking Tank intended their new Jealous album to work as a concept with regard to the dying moments of mortals like you and I, those who are accustomed to regular adrenaline rushes? Oddly enough, it does - That Fucking Tank couldn't have chosen a more apt title if they had tried.

It wouldn't take a genius to work out on first glance that Tank don't mess about; The Day of Death by Bono Adrenaline Shock was recorded in under 24 hours at an abandoned bed and breakfast in North Wales. Their sound is simple, yet to the point: Andrew Abbott plays a baritone guitar (specially tuned from B to B rather than E to E to give a deep resonance, for those less muso-minded) through a guitar amp and a bass amp while James Islip plays the drums. It would not be naive to compare Tank to two-piece set-ups such as Death From Above 1979 and Pink and Brown, as much as they are in the business of din-making and gargantuan riff-craftwork. Though pumped full of testosterone, their sound is generally more refined than the aforementioned dual-assault outfits, less overwhelming, and, somewhat catchier.

"Making a Meal for Beethoven" is the first clear-cut 'song' on offer, switching between subtly noodled guitar playing and tectonic breakdowns. It is at times difficult to believe that That Fucking Tank's sound source is comprised of just two instruments and is free of any sonic enhancement; these guys are either incredibly impressive or that old B&B barn worked wonders for their sound. "Lands & Body Cool Off" is another standout. It holds a certain groove that dissipates, eventually recollecting itself around a slowly-building jam, while "Pumping Iron" demonstrates Tank's knack for writing dynamically overdriven tunes that are equally dance floor-friendly.

This sort of musicianship showcases the power of variation that like-minded acts such as Lightning Bolt often overlook. Though the very nature of this style doesn't welcome musical variety with open arms, That Fucking Tank have done a remarkable job of creating a record that doesn't wilt on repeated spins. So remember the name That Fucking Tank (not as if it were possible to forget).

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright

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