Album Reviews


The Geordie collective return with their latest EP.

Following the release of their self-titled debut EP in 2019, TANKENGINE have used their moniker as a rolling cascade for future releases, and following 2020’s TANKENGINE TANKENGINE EP, the Newcastle outfit return with – you guessed it the TANKENGINE TANKENGINE TANKENGINE EP.  

Consisting of guitarist/vocalist, Adam Hiles (yourcodenameis:milo, Mammal Club, The Shifty Beatles), bassist Ross Harley (also of yourcodenameis:milo, Crucial Taunt) and drummer Ivan Diaz (Little Moscow, Lingua Vulgaris, Jolly Green Giants), reading TANKENGINE’s bio instantly got me hooked. (“Recently described as a band with ‘staggering potential’, which if nothing else gave their spouses a good laugh.”) It’s the kind of self-deprecation one would associate with Tyneside and that’s why so many consider the county as an ally to Sun 13’s native Merseyside.

Within the rock music pantheon, TANKENGINE are like the black sheep in the family. Their influences dotted wide across the landscape but not really sounding like any of them. And where blokes and guitars are concerned, that’s quite the feat.

Bad Amputee Interview: “trying to make something that works and does the music justice”

Undoubtedly humorous (see Appraisal), while earlier work echoes the dry wit of Mclusky, on TANKENGINE TANKENGINE the mask slipped, as TANKENGINE revealed a more tender side beyond the banter. Take the beautiful Swagger for example, which is like a track Australian ’00s underground pioneers Gersey never wrote.

That prominence continues on EP number three, starting with Hit. A wiry rocker with undergirded bass lines and instant chime, TANKENGINE bend rock music into the sort of shapes The Chameleons tried in their early days. Even Band of Susans but with more melody and less gnarl.


Count and Glory are totally different beast, however, rubbing shoulders at the edge of the bar with Helmet’s Paige Hamilton and John Stanier. Meanwhile, Anchor ramps up the pulse rate with the sort of melodic self-professed ‘sophistirock’ that makes you glance towards the record collection in search of some Squirrel Bait or Bitch Magnet.

Again though, TANKENGINE give us flashes of the past. Blink and you’ll certainly miss it. That’s why there’s no pastiche here, which again is a thrilling surprise considering guitars should used in accordance with licences akin to firearms these days.

Label Watch: Cruel Nature Records

If anything the TANKEGINE experience isn’t a world away from fellow Geordies, End Now, who hit our radar with rapid force earlier this year by way of their revisionist collection, Half Live.

In any case, with TANKENGINE TANKENGINE TANKENGINE, the band progresses nicely, and given the closeness of their previous two EPS, it feels like the logical conclusion to a trilogy of sorts, and whether there is more to follow, be it further EPs or a debut full-length, TANKENGINE are a band that all the true heads and outliers of guitar music, both past and present, should get involved with.  

TANKENGINE TANKENGINE TANKENGINE EP is out on October 6 via Cruel Nature Records. Purchase from Bandcamp.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

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