‘From five to six to four again, we’ve changed along the way’
Drunktank are a band fond of three things, 90’s Skate Punk, 80’s Metal and beer. Their latest album boasts two of those and can be suggested to imply the consumption of the third if you are so inclined. Return Of The Infamous Four sees the band’s first numerically significant release in a long nine years, a near-decade that has seen the Skate Punk scene they took leave of growing exponentially and welcoming the band back at the most opportune time. This version of Drunktank, with the influx of some new blood and a revitalised determination, performed an excellent set at this year’s Punk Rock Holiday 1.9 but what good is a live set without the credentials to prop it up?
Opening with shamelessly heavy and vintage metallic riffage of ‘We Want More’ for a split second you wonder which it is to be? Iron Maiden appreciation or fast melodic fist-pumping Skate Punk. The answer is both and despite the tracks anthemic prowess, the words sung are hauntingly real as Drunktank lambast the stupid and incredulous nature of humanity plain and true.
‘We Want More’ shows a great deal of technical proficiency and stands as a bare-all statement of inner band comfortability as it leads towards another 80’s Metal emulating intro in ‘Hammer Of Justice’. Drunktank may fall into Punk to a point (at least) by the chorus but they want you to know of their metallic credentials, they need you to know and by the end of the track your inner Metal fan is now not so far removed from your Skate Punk adoring exterior. This is a band having fun, fast.
The Infamous Four (2010) showed signs of this obsession with the noodling strings but not to this extent, it also showed a band well-versed and adept at fist-pumping Skate Punk. ‘Waste Away’ carries a chorus that is pure sonic-embodiment of precise, fast and anthemic melodic Skate Punk and Drunktank as they truly are. – ‘So many years we waste away – But not today, a better life awaits, nothing on our hands but time, I close my eyes and it’s catching up to me, if there is one thing I can do with my life, I close my eyes – So many years we waste away ‘. ‘Waste Away’ is one for the Cigar and Straightline fans.
‘Green Button’ embraces the post-Tech-Punk Skate-sound (ala A Wilhelm Scream) while maintaining more Cigar-esque late 90’s rumbling. The nail on the head is hit square in the face in excellent social observation here and recommend having the lyrics sheets/pages in front pf you for some words needing heeding. ‘Hellraisers’ is the metallic crowd-pleaser, while ‘Courage Of A Few’ takes cues from predecessor but ultimately makes its hardest point via melodic means and modernised Pennywise/Bad Religion backing vocals. If you’re British and particularly English by birth you will laugh a lot at the voice sample opening of ‘Raising The Bar’ before another anthem of determination – ‘Simple plans will never get you far, try raising the bar, by raising the bar, by raising the bar, all this time, improving who you are’.
By track nine, every fill, lick, line, riff, breakdown, rumble and any other overtly loud things that Drunktank possess are so effortless that you’re absorbed. Drunktank have churned-out an album with no real filler and that is certainly an achievement. The emotive and penultimate ‘Darkerside’ stands out across the board but would not without its tale of woe and perfectly placed guitar work driven forth on yet more determined and inexhaustible energy from bass and beatable skin-set.
Ending with their eponymous blast of metallic Skate Punk, the infamous four return, damaging ears and drinking beers to a hybridised mix of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal-infused utterly relenting, soaring Skate Punk-Rock. – ‘It’s what we do, it’s all we can. Return of The Infamous Four’.
Out now via the band and Morning Wood Records (The Netherlands), Bearded Punk Records (Belgium), Craze Records (France), Disconnect Disconnect Records (UK), 5FeetUnder Records (Denmark), Fast Decade Records (Finland), Mevzu Records (Turkey), Punk & Disorderly Records (Canada), Milestone Sounds (Japan), SBAM (Austria), Fond Of Life Records (Germany), and Say-10 Records (USA).