Roll The Tanks
Roll the Tanks may be the most ambitious band in LA. In a scene with bands on every corner, the Tanks guys set out to get the world to notice their Replacements-y, Kinks influenced rock and roll sound by building a studio in a garage by hand, where they aimed their sights on making a big unapologetic
rock record. They recruited the sometimes-touring drummer of
Frank Black and the Catholics and all-the-time drummer of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Joe Sirois, to round out their sound and then, with the help of a big-time metal producer who secretly had been following the band for over a year, they cranked out twelve tracks of guitar heavy, bombastic rock and roll that somehow recalls the very best of Hold Me Up era Goo Goo Dolls with enough modern energy to keep it fresh and new
While on tour with Against Me!, Roll The Tanks were lucky enough to catch the attention of Jordan Kleeman, tour manager for Against Me! and founder of Sabot Productions, which is home to recordings by such great bands as Gaslight Anthem, Against Me!, Lucero and The Hold Steady. Impressed with RTT’s sound and drive, Jordan agreed to put out their upcoming seven inch, Goodnight Jimmy Lee, which is due out in the fall of
2011. Not bad for a couple of guys who’ve been known to sit at the bar untilafter midnight until their checks cleared so they could afford to pay their bar tabs, hence the title of their upcoming full length, Broke Til Midnight.
The single’s title track, Goodnight Jimmy Lee is a reckless, ballbusting ode to fallen rocker Jay Reatard that sounds like it could have been written by Paul Westerberg, and the b-side, Pistolero, is a Lemonheads-y uptemo acoustic-tinged jam that recalls the heyday of 90’s indie rock. As if these
influences weren’t unimpeachable enough, the cover of the seven-inch is scratch and sniff! Talk about form meets function! Both the music and the packaging of Goodnight Jimmy Lee are totally modern twists on classics from yesteryear, and the full length, Broke Til Midnight is packed with even
more of the rock n’ roll grandstanding, hooks and tastefully ass-kicking guitar work that’s gotten the Tanks a lot of well earned recognition in the fickle LA scene. But it didn’t come without a lot of hard work.
In rehearsing for Broke Til Midnight the RTT boys indulged in a LOT of experimentation. According to frontman Danny Carney “we setup a little studio downtown and wrote and demoed the songs a ton… Some of the songs have over 10 different versions…we ignored the clock and didn't fuck around.” When it was time to record, Roll The Tanks decided to get weird and teamed up with heavy metal knob master and RTT fan Fred Archambault
(Avenged Sevenfold) to see what happens when everyone steps
outside their comfort zone to make a record that was intended to be, in the words of Danny, Rumors 2 (that’s a Fleetwood Mac reference, folks).
All that trial and error paid off, because Broke Til Midnight is somehow the best of the 80’s mixed with the best of the 90’s, a pop gem that’s not afraid to sneer through it’s undeniable hooks and massive guitar swagger and still somehow sound like something totally fresh. So go check out Roll The
Tanks while they’re still small because armed with the ability to bring meat-and-potatoes rock and roll into 2011 and the style to impress punk rock stalwarts and heavy metal tastemakers alike, the boys in Roll The Tanks have enough broad appeal to really change the game, and it’s always nice to be able to say you saw a band like Roll The Tanks is about to be back
before they blew up.