Asian Dub Foundation - Tank

Despite what's happened over the past two years with the War in Iraq and the re-election of President Bush, bands are unprepared to take a stand musically once the cheap headlines of "Damon Albarn says "No To The War" have long lost public interest. It makes sense that Asian Dub Foundation  return with an album that still continues to question the war, probe the racism inherent in our society and encourages the listeners to do the same.

While the Dead 60s and Hard-Fi successfully ape the sound of the Clash, it's ADF that pick up the baton and take the spirit forward. For those familiar with previous albums "Facts and Fiction", "R.A.F.I", "Community Music" and "Enemy Of The Enemy", "Tank" doesn't make any bold musical statements. The dub bass lines, drum and bass beats and indian strings are omnipresent and the whole album is a distillation of previous ideas. What makes "Tank" such an interesting album is they have a clear focus to their lyrics, subjects aren't vague or non-specific and the targets are clear - Bush, Blair, the multinationals, the CIA, the liberals.

"Oil" makes it's as clear as possible, the refrain of "We want your oil" is shouted over a scatter-gun beat and interspersed with "How did we get to this lord? How did we get to this?". "Take Back The Power" is based around a Stooges style riff and demands action rather than sitting back and letting them walk all over us. "Hope" looks to the youth as a symbol of the future, the generation that's prepared to question rather than sitting back and taking what we're told as the truth from politicians with Messiah complexes.

The big question that remains with ADF, and it was a question that needed answering on the last album also, is exactly who are they preaching to apart from the converted. I was one of the few that grew up with the likes of Public Enemy, Chumbawamba, Dead Prez and ADF and i'm still here listening to each and every ADF release; but what of the younger generation. What do they think of Asian Dub Foundation? Would they rather have Eminem dissing President Bush on "Mosh" for a primary school politics lesson rather than the more educated and forward thinking community music from ADF. "Tank" is their most focused album since "R.A.F.I", but you can't help but feel they need to take this music outside of their current audience

Alex McCann

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