This Means War

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Bassist Algy Ward's mob scored a bull's eye with this successor to its more rudimentary debut, Filth Hounds of Hades. This Means War hits the mark with memorable riffs, vivid lyrics, and razor-sharp production that brightens the sound without sacrificing the bare-knuckled rock approach. Tank epitomized the fuzzier, faster 'n' louder pack aching for a place in the British heavy rock scene -- as its 1977 punk peers had only done several years earlier. "Just Like Something from Hell," "Hot Lead and Cold Steel," and "If We Go (We Go Down Fighting)" remain some of the most evocative looks at the hell of war, a quality that helped Tank stand above its more velocity-oriented peers. Indeed, the subject hangs over much of the album (except "I Won't Ever You Let Down"). The band's graphic lyrics leave little to the listener's imagination (as Metallica and Motörhead did on similar tunes like "Disposable Heroes" and "1916," respectively). Much of the band's lyrical authority stems from a gritty production driven by Ward's grungy bass and liberal use of the bass drum that so aptly defined the style of this era. Guitarists Mick Tucker and Pete Brabbs make an unholy racket that aims to leave the listener breathless and flattened; on this score, the band succeeded, creating a textbook example of '80s thrash metal.

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