Staffordshire based four piece band, China Tanks’ latest EP ‘Beautiful Shame’ proves they’re taking bigger steps in their musical development since their debut, ‘Drinking, Dancing Dirty Lovin’.
(Image courtesy of Emily Jane Hankey)
The band themselves, say they don’t stand by a specific genre and are happy playing around with different, diverse styles regularly, they can sound aggressive and loud at one moment then the next can be extremely warm, stripped back and mellow with an acoustic guitar. This is evident throughout the whole of the EP and the band stand by the belief that no two songs from them are the same.
The title track, ‘Beautiful Shame’ is riff heavy and a perfect opener to the EP, the quick changes in melody throughout the track are short, sharp and provide a variation throughout the song. The vocals are rough, raw and have a sense of D.I.Y about them as if the band themselves recorded this track in their practice space or their mothers garage.
‘Stories’, is the opposite to the tracks previously heard on this EP, stripped back, slowed down and acoustic it displays a sweet spot for the band, lyrics about heartache weave in and out of the track. The vocals are somewhat lacking here, a bit hit and miss in areas and don’t display the same anger and courage as the other songs have. It’s a weaker point in the recording for this band however, its contrast serves the band well, proving they can dip into more than one side of their sound.
‘Where You Will Never Go’ brings the EP to a conclusion of heavy, loud riffs and deep vocals. China Tanks have sandwiched two laid back, cool songs between two of anger and roaring riffs, this track brings the EP to a climatic ending of dramatic emotion. The two tracks that bookmark the EP are both bold, punchy statements and display the band’s underlying grit and anger, in contrast, the tracks in the middle have a warmth to them and an obvious tone of love within them.
The EP perfectly displays the band as what they say they are, multi genre and flexible but the patchy, uneven sounding vocals generally weaken the EP and let it down in area. At moments they’re inconsistent but the general vibe running throughout the tracks this display that China Tanks are certainly a clever band who are destined to create bold sounding riffs and melodies with the intention to play them in front of crowds of fans!