Three Dimensional Tanx – S/T Sampler
By Reza Mills
Having had the pleasure of reviewing The Three Dimensional Tanx or 3d Tanx for short twice previously, I now relished the opportunity to review their 10-track sampler album which I purchased at their last gig way back in February.
For those of you not familiar with the Tanx, they are a 4 piece outfit from the Lancaster area. On guitar, sitar and keys you have Daevidegg, on drums/percussion Lozcrooked, Seanapocalypse on bass/percussion and last but by no means least Spaceoddity on Vocals, keys and guitar. They have built up quite a reputation for themselves having supported the legendary Damo Suzuki of Can as well as garnering reviews from the likes of the BBC and prime intellectual muso mag The Wire. What with all this attention and critical acclaim, expectations have never been higher.
The CD starts with a Ravi Shankar influenced number called Baby Universe featuring ethereal female backing vocals that remind you somewhat of Opal’s Kendra Smith. Indeed the track wouldn’t be wholly out of place on her five ways of disappearing album. The track sets the tone for the rest of the album, hypnotic, absorbing and utterly compelling. The album grabs you by the throat from the off and never lets go. Drowning you in wave after wave of glorious psychedelic guitar noise, much like Hawkwind during their peak years in the early 70’s when they had a certain Lemmy Kilmister in the band. Any of the tracks would have fit in snugly on that groups’ double live album Space Ritual.
The band also seems to be taking notes from krautrock pioneers Can and Neu as well as The Velvet Underground, Spacemen 3 and undoubtedly Todd Rundgren’s finest moment A Wizard/A True Star. They not only nod to the psychedelic experimentalism of those aforementioned artists, but also classic 60’s garage rock. At times it’s like the spirit of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators have imbued their every pore and sinew. This is especially evident on one of the standout tracks Six Dead, which would be in high contention for being released as a single (if it hasn’t been already). Clattering drums, Hammond organ and spiky guitar form a lethal yet catchy combination. This track is pretty much a regular at their live shows and gets the kids’ moshing to quote the vernacular.
Other standout tracks on the album include The Moon and The Wrecker with its’ robotic post-punk gloom that reminds you somewhat of The Cure ala 1980 and My Warm-head which brings to mind The Stone Roses, with its’ funky beats and what sounds like hip-hop scratching showing the Three Dimensional Tanx to be more than a one-trick pony. All of this means nothing however without the fortune of witnessing the Tanx in their natural habitat which you can do on the 27th of June at The Yorkshire House.
If swine flu, the credit crunch and impending nuclear Armageddon are an indication of the end of the world as we know it, then the 3d Tanx are the perfect soundtrack to the apocalypse. For more information contact the band at http://www.myspace.com/3dtanx