Roll the Tanks - EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Roll the Tanks

EP (2012)

Look Sharp

Roll the Tanks have always been on the cusp of breaking out. Their debut LP Suffer City seemed to slip under the radar of a lot of potential fans. Many bands over the years have aped the Clash, but Roll the Tanks managed to harness their appreciation into pure influence. The follow-up, a hastily recorded 7-inch titled Goodnight Jimmie Lee is a heartfelt requiem to their recently departed friend Jay Retard. One year later the band have returned with a self-titled EP.

The first track "Toeing the Line" is a well-executed pop number, with catchy choruses and well-crafted hooks. While there's still a slight hint of previously mentioned influences, the track seems more dance-driven with the pulsing bassline. The next song, "Waiting on a Storm," follows a similar pattern but is unfortunately spoiled by cliche lyrics. Call it a protest song all you want, but with the chorus ending on I don't wanna die in a uniform" it just comes off as forced and stale.

A re-recorded version of "Goodnight Jimmie Lee" is also featured on the EP. I'm not much of a fan of including previously released material, especially on an EP, and with the original intention of this song I feel it would have been best left solely on the 7-inch. Rounding out EP is a very odd acoustic song titled "Hornet." It's a complete departure from the focused rhythm and harmony of the release's other tracks, and frankly, sounds like something leftover.

I'm a bit disappointed with this EP. It sounds like filler from another release, and doesn't really offer much new from the band. If Roll The Tanks had chosen to build a full-length around what is done with "Toeing the Line," I think we would have seen a proper follow-up to their debut record. Hopefully something is in the works.