TANKARD
"Fat, Ugly and Still (A)live"

(Locomotive Music/AFM)

For more information, visit Amazon.com.

RATING: 7.5/10

This is one big, beer-swilling thrash party of a DVD; it is as simple as that. Long-time German thrashers TANKARD never tried to be anything more than a group of fun-loving booze hounds that happen to play some pretty darn catchy thrash metal. Let's get the basics out of the way first. This two-disc set includes a marathon live performance and videos for "The Morning After", "Space Beer", "Minds on the Moon", and the hilarious "Tanze Samba mit mir". Also included is the obligatory photo gallery and what seems to be a comprehensive interview spoken entirely in German without subtitles, the latter the main reason this one didn't get an 8 rating; sorry, but all TANKARD fans don't speak German. Disc 2 is a collection of on-the-road antics and live performance clips from countries such as Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Turkey, all of which feature the members hamming it up with adoring fans, beers in hand and shit-eating grins etched across faces. Virtually all of it is home video fare, but fun nonetheless.

Now to the really good stuff. The centerpiece of Disc 1 is a lengthy 24-song set played to a shit-faced and sweaty German audience (which would basically describe the band members as well). I've seen more concerts on DVD than I care to remember, some of which turn out to be little more than endurance tests. TANKARD's set on the other hand is one hell of a thrashing good time. Each song of the career-spanning set sounds fantastic. Crowd participation was off the scale, as songs like "Space Beer" and the classic "Chemical Invasion" turned unbridled enthusiasm into outright insanity. As cliché as it sounds to say that the DVD makes you feel as though you're actually at the show, it is basically true in this case. Professionally shot, yet not overdone, the all-around vibe is energetic and filled with old school metal pride.

And we've not even talked about the beer swilling and proudly rotund front man Andreas Geremia. This is one guy who absolutely does not give a fuck. Belly bouncing and ass-crack exposed (an image I'm still trying to shake), Geremia is one with the crowd, inviting many a fan to share vocal duties and always getting the most out of the rabid audience. Watching his stage dives into a terrified crowd and seeing him sink like an anvil thrown into a pond is priceless. The band is in top form too, somehow remaining tight amidst the chaos, and always head banging with abandon.

It is a damn shame that TANKARD never got the recognition afforded to some of their peers. This is a group that thrash fans should know about and "Fat, Ugly, and Still (A)live" is an excellent introduction to the band's raucous party thrash. This much fun should be illegal.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends). To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.