Hank & Tank are Henrik Björnsson (Hank) and Þorgeir Guðmundsson (Tank). Þorgeir is a filmmaker, while Henrik is probably better known for his other band Singapore Sling. It’s been a decade since the duo’s debut, 2009s Songs For The Birds, but fortunately for us Hank and Tank are back together again and putting out some great music.
Last Call For Hank & Tank opens with “Drive On”, a simple, dark, David Lynch-esque song that somehow takes some very basic playing and turns it into something rich, sonically dense, and mysterious, a brooding soundtrack to an early dusk drive in the middle of nowhere with nothing else to do except drive on. The addition of the simmering Keren Ann’s vocals to “Same Old Song” only serves to make things even more sombre, the interplay between her and Henrik calling to mind a lost relationship, one that both parties know had to end but miss none the less.
Musically the compositions remain methodical and chewy like liquified caramel with elements of slow psych and surf, a structure that means even the slightest guitar flourish can radically change the mood for a moment. The vocals take on a languid, almost Western style, their matter-of-factness even when singing about hitting rock bottom (“See The Stars”) creating a mood of resignation, as if the world could treat the singer in no other way. “I Wanna” is the one time things burst forth, the faster pace and distorted vocals more reminiscent of Singapore Sling.
You can listen to Last Call For Hank & Tank on Bandcamp HERE, and it looks like they still have copies of the limited edition (of 200) vinyl available there as well. Hopefully these two will be playing Iceland Airwaves this year… but we’ll just have to wait and see.