Tankt – Heresy, Melbourne, Sat 26 Oct 2002

Now, it’s no secret that I’m neither an expert on nor a great fan of electronic music. In fact, I have been known to bitch long and hard about the dominance of electro music in the goth scene and the lack of opportunity for those of us that aren’t especially fond of it to have a night out without a playlist disproportionately dominated by doof.

Basically, as Homer Simpson would put it, I don’t understand it because I don’t like it. So, anything I have to say about Tankt should be taken with that in mind.

Because, quite frankly, Tankt fucking rocked!

 

I’ve seen them two or three times in the last year or so, with the basic impression that they were something a bit more interesting than your average electro-industrial band. But the show they put on this time was way beyond anything I’ve seen from them before.

They started with a moody, almost ambient, electronic piece that looked to be an instrumental until they were joined by Jordan of Resurrection Eve, who added some drifting vocals over the top to make quite a strange sounding number. The tempo picked up a bit from there, with main vocalist Robbie joining them after some time and some familiar songs appearing. I don’t remember the exact order, but “Hominious” and “Flip ‘Em Out” made early appearances.

The collection of sounds was quite interesting, with varying mixtures of hard electronics, samples, melodic keyboards and unusual, tortured guitar sounds (more Blixa Bargeld than James Hetfield, if you get my drift). The vocals were an odd mix too, with David’s angry shouting, Roberto’s more restrained deadpan delivery and the occasional addition of Jordan’s smoother new romantic tones. The songs ranged from uptempo numbers (without seeming to degenerate to repetitive doof-doof-doof clichés) that had people variously pogoing, dancing or doing those odd raverish hand sigils in the air, to (comparatively) slower more moody songs, to more offbeat, even menacing sounds. Some of the songs I knew from Despair Ltd i didn’t recognise until halfway through, having been reworked or maybe even blended in with other songs.

Watching the band was half the fun, with Robbie often wandering through the crowd (go radio mike!) and the band in general putting on quite a show. No light show, dancing girls or pyrotechnics, just a bunch of lads going completely apeshit, climbing speakers and bouncing all over the place like mexican beans. The sense of chaos was such that, as the guitarist climbed the ladder and hung off the DJ booth, I had an awful feeling he was going to start frisbeeing my CDs across the room. After a set that seemed quite full but went by really quickly, the band finished up with another slow, almost new romantic song, with Jordan on vocals, that reminded me of some of Apoptygma Berzerk’s slower tracks.

It was kind of a “leave ’em wanting more” moment and, if this show was typical of their act now, they bloody well deserve the crowd that turned out to see them. You can count me as well impressed, anyway.

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