Tank

Filth Hounds of Hades

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The very notion seems preposterous today (too good to be true, more like), but in 1981, underground legends Motörhead -- the band who once correctly boasted that if they moved in next door, your lawn would die -- saw their landmark No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith live album enter the U.K. Charts at number one! The New Wave of British Heavy Metal was also in full swing that year, with early champions like Saxon, Iron Maiden and Def Leppard already building from strength to strength, and a hungry throng of supplementary upstarts waiting in the wings to take their best shot at denim-and-leather glory. One of these was South London's Tank, and the reason we bring up Motörhead, first and foremost here, is because this power trio composed of the brothers Mark and Pete Brabbs and gravel-throated, former Damned bassist Algy Ward, had Lemmy and co. to thank for the lion's share of their musical inspiration -- not to mention many of their earliest concert bookings leading up to first album Filth Hounds of Hades. Released in early 1982 and produced by none other than Motörhead guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke, Filth Hounds naturally contained its fair share of scorching, paint-peeling heavy rockers (see the title cut, "Run Like Hell" and opener "Shellshock," whose silly caveman chants suggest just how much fun was had at these sessions), fueled by a similarly volatile cocktail of intensity and velocity as that made famous by the band's creative gurus. But the record also made room for more accessible offerings like amusing singles "Blood, Guts & Beer" and "He Fell in Love with a Stormtrooper," the sardonic "Who Needs Love Songs," and the surprisingly long-winded bluesy jam "That's What Dreams Are Made Of" (which some listeners may liken to Motörhead's "The Chase Is Better Than the Catch") -- all of which helped to showcase Tank's enviable instrumental chops at less frantic speeds. Even so, it's arguably another pair of teetotal punk metal masterpieces -- the self-explanatory "Struck by Lightning" and the arguably career best anthem, "Turn Your Head Around" -- that ensure Filth Hounds of Hades' standing as Tank's best album ever, and qualifying it as an essential item in the record collection of any serious '80s metal fan.

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