Drunktank - Return of the Infamous Four (Cover Artwork)


Return of the Infamous Four (2019)

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In Punknews’ own review of Drunktank’s debut album in 2010, we described them as sounding akin to early Lagwagon or Pennywise. But here, on Return of the Infamous Four, Drunktank is taking those early 90s skatepunk influences up a notch and adding a much more noticeable metal sound. Think more of a Failed States Propagandhi listening heavily to 80s metal. This is exactly what is cool about the album though: the band has released a record a bit harder to pin down on influences, and instead they can just be fun on their own.

Overall, the album is a non-stop assault of punk metal, with “Green Button” standing out early on with brutal drums, guitar solos, and some cool vocal harmonies. It’s a good song that is quite emblematic of the album overall, seamlessly blending punk and metal for a fun song.

Return of the Infamous Four can also surprise a bit with tracks like “Hellraisers.” That one has one of the album’s few true anthemic choruses, giving listeners a real reason to just belt out the song at the top of their lungs. It takes a little to get the momentum going, but it eventually becomes one of the record’s better tracks.

And it’s with little changes that Drunktank is able to avoid having simply released another skatepunk album. The genre can get a little repetitive, and while a few songs, like “Raising the Bar,” can feel that way, the metal flourishes and occasional sing-along spice up the sound.

The record even throws in a solid political track by way of “Courage of a Few.” The song rages both lyrically and with powerful guitars to back it all up. It also gets an assist from a clip of Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech at the end of The Great Dictator, but the song’s call for regular people to stand up to injustice is a welcome addition to an album that doesn’t always have the most complex lyrics. (Though, “Army of Darkness,” a song about literal undead assassins, is pretty fun, if a little silly).

So with only their second album in nine years did Drunktank reinvent the wheel? Well, no. But is this band having fun slaying through ten tracks in a little over half an hour? Hell yes. The title track lets us know that the band has changed a bit, they’re a surprised they’re still at it, but this is what they do.