Recently, I stumbled upon a new band that caught my attention. Drunktank, a Dutch skatepunk group, and just last month they dropped a music video for their latest single, “Kindle the Flame.” Around the same time, Canadians had the privilege of witnessing this cool band in action during their very first Eastern Canada tour, where Drunktank featured some of their Canada-themed artwork crafted specifically for the occasion (unfortunately, as I was doing my research, I realized I had missed it by just a few days). I found the artwork truly exceptional, so even if you’re not particularly drawn to alternative music but have an affinity for imaginative art or perhaps enjoy comic novels, I would strongly recommend you check it out; it’s quite creative.
Before I dive into my thoughts on their new single, let me preface it by saying it wasn’t quite what I expected. Having heard some of their earlier music, I was anticipating a more punk-oriented sound; you know, distorted riffs and gruff, raw vocals. For reference, they cite influences like Satanic Surfers, Pennywise, and No Fun at All on their website.
While this single does indeed incorporate some of those punk elements, there are also unmistakable traces of their other influences, such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, and 3 Inches of Blood. I get it; it might seem odd to see Pennywise and Iron Maiden on the same list, but it really works. Hear me out.
“Kindle the Flame” marks the debut of the band’s new vocalist, Sarah Ockhuysen. And while she’s not your typical punk vocalist, Sarah is an absolute powerhouse behind the microphone. She channels the vibes of classic heavy/power metal vocalists, like Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, Dio, the legendary Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, and she even slightly reminded me of Kimberly Goss, formerly of Sinergy.
I also couldn’t help but notice the lyrics in this single. They deftly blend some punk themes with the lyricism you’d associate with power metal. They maintain their raw, honest essence while adding a touch of mystique, which I found rather enjoyable.
As much as I love the sound and themes of punk, I have to admit that heavy metal music and its power riffs hold a special place in my heart, especially when they’re executed with finesse, melody, and flow. There’s something about the energy and atmosphere of metal, especially in a live setting.
Now, here’s the kicker: the music video doesn’t quite align with the vibe I’m describing here. Instead of something “epic,” it was shot in a wrestling ring! Go figure. It might not fit neatly into the confines of either a metal or punk category, but it’s an absolute banger in its own right. Highly recommended!