Tank: War Machine

Imagine Motörhead... without Lemmy.

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On paper at least things didn’t bode well for Tank’s return from an eight-year layoff.

With gravel-voiced bassist Algy Ward seemingly retired, the UK band’s current line-up includes no original members. The introductions of former Rainbow/Yngwie mouthpiece Doogie White, with ex-Atom Seed/Bruce Dickinson bassist Chris Dale taking up the slack, both appeared ill-fitting appointments. Certainly, the notion of White roaring the band’s infamous battle cry of “Wakey wakey!” seems almost laughable.

And yet, War Machine is a powerful, convincing, classic-sounding heavy metal record. Stripped of the punkoid hooligan rawness that was such a foundation of Tank’s earliest releases, White’s heroic and deeply melodic vocals are the epicentre of the album’s appeal, sounding their most Dio-esque on Feast Of The Devil.

The weighty yet super-precise guitar lines of Cliff Evans and Mick Tucker, members of Tank since the mid-80s, represent another reason to investigate this surprisingly fine comeback disc.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.