I typically try stay away anything that makes me seem “scene” but NewTank speaks to me in a way not many metalcore/post-hardcore bands can. They have been around since 2008 (which could be considered as the dawn of the new age of post-hardcore), but have only released two EP’s and a song on a compilation. I don’t know much about their first EP, but I was extremely shocked at how great their second one was.
I ordered the album from the Chinese version of Amazon, because it was extremely cheap. Once I put it in my Discman (because I am hip like that), I was blown away by the emotion in each song. They have something special in their music. I have actually listened to this EP about a hundred times now and still enjoy listening to each song, so I think it deserves a review!
You find some interesting musical themes and melodies in “Beyond the Ocean.” Some critics may find the breakdowns bland and uncreative, but they probably have not delved as deep into the Chinese scene as I have. Though almost being an A Day To Remember copycat, they do showcase their own sound. Despite English being their second language, they manage to express themselves quite well (but nothing without some issues). The songs are perfect for getting crowd involvement. I haven’t had the pleasure to see them live when I lived in China, but I can imagine how much energy could be displayed by a crowd rocking out and jumping to NewTank.
As I said, New Tank could easily pass as an A Day To Remember copycat, but they manage to incorporate different styles into their music. The title track “Beyond the Ocean” is the ballad of the album and shows just how well they can incorporate pop into their sound. Their “Interlude” features the vocalist rapping a verse with an extremely happy sounding EBM synth in the background. Immortal Ones almost enters beatdown territory when they show the world how they like to do breakdowns
Unfortunately, this album does not play without flaws. The vocalist’s cleans are obviously auto-tuned which ruins some of the choruses. Nevertheless, I can still enjoy reaching those high notes myself when I sing along with the vocalist. As I stated before, the lyricist’s English is not perfect, so some of the lyrics just do not make any sense, but as a student learning Chinese, I understand the difficulty of learning another language and salute them for trying.
Despite the flaws, this EP is probably my favorite Chinese metalcore release. I struggle finding another album with songs as addictive and emotional. Anyone fans of A Day to Remember, Secrets, and Attack Attack! should enjoy this album. Unfortunately, NewTank has not been very active recently, but I honestly hope they can release another album!
– The Vociferator (Benjamin Kosanke)