Keep Breaking Down
When Keep Breaking Down opener, “Command Divide” begins in earnest, after a groan of wheezy feedback, it feels like the two years since the Tanks’ debut, Summon Creature was but a day. Lead singer Kevin Koppes bellows over a thick, sludgy mess concocted by bass player Adam Luksetich and skins man Steve Bennet, before erupting into the stop-start thrash-mess we’ve come to expect from the trio.
The changes from the debut CD are small on the trio’s sophomore release. There are no major revisions in approach, but the delivery is steeped in confidence. For starters, the production is worlds better. The drums hit harder, the cymbals crash louder, the bass chugs along with more force, all without drowning out the vocals. Sumptuous compared to the flat and tinny sound of Summon Creature. The Tanks have also honed their already sinuous compositions.
The nods to studio wizardry (the ghostly echoes closing off “I Sense Injuries,” the scrapes and hisses at the head of “Just Mannequins”) all contribute to the inescapable mood of the record. So even when the album-capping track “Kirby Loves Dudes” disintegrates into squeals and machine-gun-stutters, it’s more the denouement to the almost constant rising action preceding it, rather than pretentious wankery.