Reviews Roll the Tanks Suffer City

Roll the Tanks

Suffer City

Something about Roll the Tanks sounds familiar. I can’t put my finger on who they remind me of, but they have a light, bouncy Brit-pop feel with enough enthusiasm to overcome their lack of originality. On Suffer City, the Massachusetts/Los Angeles quartet brings a half hour of concise, polished indie rock with positive energy and a lot of group vocals.

The opener, “No More Scoffing,” starts things up with a feelgood melody countered by a lyrical exasperation about the world. From here, the band takes few turns over the next ten songs before wrapping up with the semi-ballad “Saddle Up.” Throw in some ‘60s influences, hints of garage, and a couple songs about girls and you’ve got a solid record that’s aurally pleasing without breaking any boundaries. It’s generally positive and happy-sounding music, regardless of a few lyrical turns that don’t quite match up with the tone of the music. The ill-timed MF-bomb in “Police Me,” would be a great example where you stop bouncing your leg and consult the lyric sheet to double-check what you’ve heard. Roll the Tanks play the sort of music that you’ll hear on an iPod or Target commercial, where they’ll isolate a clip to make it sound positive and get you to perk your head up and look at the colors. I imagine the band to be four skinny guys in tight pants and shaggy haircuts, frantically bobbing their heads in four different rhythms.

The record flies by, with all eleven songs finishing between two and four minutes in length. “Bonnie Brae,” in the middle of the album, offers a nice change of pace with an acoustic intro and string accompaniment. “Police Me” has a bit of an Elvis Costello feel, but with more modern indie influences. In “Gameshow Love,” they adopt a bit of a 60s pop feel, with a simple, hooky bassline and a few “la la la’s.” Take a band like the Bloody Hollies and replace the garage genre with Brit-pop and you’ve basically got the idea.

The standouts are the poppy “Bloodflow” and “Defense Mecca,” and “Police Me,” featured on their website and with a chorus so catchy it could hit the charts. On the negative, Roll the Tanks suffer from a bit of sameness that can make it hard to separate one track from the next. On such a short record, it’s not much of a problem, but I could see a longer release or live performance getting a little dull.

7.1 / 10Loren
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7.1 / 10

7.1 / 10

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