The Tank – Demonstrating Potential EP

The Tank
Demonstrating Potential EP

Let me start this review by saying that after a few listens of Demonstrating Potential, I already feel the need to get put up a defensive front in respect to The Tank. First off, this EP is good – really good. The songs are catchy, the production is crisp, and the whole EP is an attack of head-bopping and toe-tapping just waiting to happen.

Now, the problem with all that, of course, is that tons of ‘scenesters’ will crawl out of the woodwork to talk about how sanitized or commercial this EP sounds. They’ll say, well, The Tank just sounds like Blink-182, Fenix TX, or Stroke 9. They’ll talk about how the music doesn’t say anything, and how there’s no artistic merit to the songs because they’re slickly produced. They’ll go on and on about how music that sounds like The Tank is ruining radio and MTV, even though they’ll relentlessly flock to every garage band rock show that spits out replica take-offs of Guided By Voices or Pavement.

Well ya know what? Screw that. Demonstrating Potential freakin’ rocks. At just over 15 minutes, the EP doesn’t have any low points whatsoever. The songs are tightly constructed, the lyrics are quick fix singalongs, and (most importantly) the guitars rock. “Sick Day” is as catchy as any pop song, with an opening chord binge that sounds more than a bit like Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” before breaking into a catchy-as-hell verse structure. It’s easy to relate when Ken Conte sings “Let’s call in and say that we’re not well / Keep it as our secret / No one will we tell / Because we’re alright / We just took back our day / Let’s put this into motion / It’s just one phone call away / Then we’ll make our getaway.” I mean, who hasn’t wanted to call off work for no apparent reason? The beat to “Overview” slows down a bit, but simple drumming and tight guitar work that somewhat resembles Knapsack. “Bad Advice” runs on a bit more complex drumming and guitar lines, while “Glass Presser” resembles a modernized version of early Green Day tunes like “2,000 Light Years Away.” The EP goes out with a bang in the minute-and-a-half quick-pace form of “The Crew,” certainly the least ‘accessible’ track here (although it does resemble older Offspring material).

The Tank’s Demonstrating Potential is a very good release. Unfortunately, I get a very funny feeling that most folks aren’t going to bother giving it a chance. I guess that even at the tender age of 24, I just don’t understand kids these days. I just can’t understand the criminality people find when it comes to clean production work in music, and god forbid I try to make sense out of figuring out why some people whine so badly about bands that write infectious pop songs. I’ll have to deal with those complaints another day, because at the moment, I’m jamming Demonstrating Potential too loudly to hear any of them. Recommended for power-pop fans.