That F***ing Tank - Day of Death by Bono Adrenaline Shot
It begins with a quiet introduction - just less than 30 seconds of gentle guitar strumming that may lull you into a sense of relaxation, a sense of quiet introspection, another indie-rock band to join the others. However, where it goes from here is enough to wake the dead and blow your speakers.
This Leeds duo have taken the formula so recently enthused by Death From Above 1979 and Lightning Bolt but pioneered, if you can say that, by Steve Albini's band Shellac. No holes barred rock / metal with the amps turned to 11 but with very little in the ways of production and fancy studio antics. These albums certainly don't sound like they've been made in the 21st century by a record industry obsessed with Pro-Tools and market forces. Mainly these tracks sound like how they were recorded - one guy playing guitar and the other playing drums.
Before you disappear believing this to be a one trick pony of an album, it's not. There's plenty of almost danceable grooves played out here, it's not full on metal so there's a rhythm percolating through the songs - like the White Stripes it's not just brainless noisy - the songs go places. The riffs are tough and organic, all played towards the dark and dirty end of the spectrum - riffs that reach into your body and vibrate it at a level that should really be illegal.
It's not all music to high noise levels however. There's a couple of vocal tracks as well - The Freedom of Music sounds like something straight from an 80's power-rock album and I'm sure they've pinched the riff from somewhere else. There's also the rather sublime Evening In Body Cafe which is just a spoken track detailing a recipe for some dinner and where you can get the ingredients from in Leeds market.
However nice it is to be offered a brief respite from the aural assault that is this album, these brief interludes, including the almost sea shanty Lands Speak Record, somehow don't quite sit right for me. I'd have preferred some just more of the same, I can take it! These tracks just disrupt the flow of the album and detract from what these guys are really good at - striped down guitar noise that sounds great when the volume is turned up. Only someone without a heart could not be moved by the Andrew and James track duo and not want to jump round the room, invigorated by the guitar riffs and drumming throwing themselves out of your speakers. An impressive debut album then, but less talking and more noise in the future.