Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Informed by the sound and feel of classic rock and the energy and rabble-rousing spirit of punk, Roll the Tanks deliver a sound that's urgent and anthemic, built on big guitars and the passionate vocals of Danny Carney. The band was formed in Lowell, Massachusetts by lead singer and guitarist Carney and bassist and backing vocalist Mike Wakeham, who had been friends since childhood. Carney and Wakeham played in a variety of local punk bands, including Five*o*Five and Private Army, before forming Roll the Tanks in 2003; the group was originally named Tanks, in honor of T. Rex's album Tanx, but when they learned that name was unavailable, they changed their handle to Roll the Tanks, borrowed from a phrase Clash frontman Joe Strummer used as a song introduction in the documentary Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten. In 2005, after two years of trying to make a name for themselves in Lowell, Roll the Tanks pulled up stakes and moved to Los Angeles; before long, Carney and Wakeham found themselves assembling a new lineup when their original drummer and lead guitarist decided to head back home. They recruited a new drummer, Joe Sirois, a fellow former Massachusetts resident who had worked with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and began playing out as a trio. In 2008, Roll the Tanks recorded their first album, Suffer City, released through Intelligent Noise Records, and in 2010, the group began work on their second full-length. During the sessions, Memphis-based musician Jay Reatard died unexpectedly; Carney was a serious fan of Reatard's work, and quickly wrote a song to commemorate his loss, "Goodnite, Jimmy Lee." Roll the Tanks issued the song as a single in 2011, and in 2012 it was included on a four-song EP simply titled Roll the Tanks. During the delay in the release of their album, Roll the Tanks added a second guitarist, Aaron Stuart from the group Piebald, and additional guitar tracks were added to the recordings. In early 2014, Epitaph Records signed Roll the Tanks to a deal, and the band's long-awaited second album, Broke Til Midnight, was released in May 2014.