October Album Of The Month
It’s been a hectic couple of months for new album releases, and the task of picking just one album of the month has been testing. For October we were torn between three contenders before something landed from the heavens. Trucker Diablo. They’re back and they mean business.
One of those few albums that arrests you on first listen, ‘Fighting for Everything’ is quite special. It starts with a bang and closes with an emotional punch in the face and, in between, the pace is relentless, the rhythms powerful and the rousing choruses are the stuff that could rock stadiums. This is a band that knows what they are about and in ‘Fighting for Everything’ they are making a clear statement on where they could be heading.
The album opener ‘Born Trucker’ makes an immediate impression and sets the tempo for the whole album – a signature Trucker rocker and one has the sense it would be a natural concert opener.
In ‘We Will Conquer All’ I can pick up some of the band’s influences but the pace and magnetic guitar work keeps it fresh. This track along with ‘Drown In The Fire’ sums up well the feel of the album at large – an assertive mix of great melodies, driving riffs and rousing choruses. It’s direct, in your face and unapologetically fun.
With ‘Voodoo II’ the gloves are off – from the opening chords there is a real attitude and swagger that you can only admire, even if you’re not an ardent rock fan there’s something here you will respect.
‘Let’s Just Ride’ is a dream track for radio – without doubt, the standout radio rocker on the album. This is one of those songs that has the potential to work well beyond rock media on mainstream radio: A real anthem for a Friday night driving home with the volume up and the windows down. A the modern day alternative to the likes of ‘Living on A Prayer’ or ‘Here I Go Again’ – classic rock staples loved by everyone and still played by radio. Rock music has always produced those special sing-along classics that stretch well beyond the rock community. ‘Let’s Just Ride’ along with Massive Wagons ‘Ratio,’ Theia’s ‘Home’ and Gasoline Outlaws ‘Breathe Again’ provide evidence that today’s rock bands are still creating gems for mainstream radio. It’s time for radio to notice them and play them.
Next up is the title track ‘Fighting For Everything’ which I premiered during our radio hour special at the end of 2016. This song has survived the test of time well; every listen kind of retains the excitement of the first play. A very powerful, muscular song – a bit like Queen’s ‘I Want It All’ – I can see this track being adopted by people and groups fighting for things they believe in. It’s a modern day rally cry.
The tail-enders on the album provides heavy rockers with an opportunity to put their black T-shirts on, let their hair down and shake it around. ‘Detroit Steel’ and ‘Die For You’ present fans with a brace of no-nonsense hard rock stompers with all the signature elements they would have loved from the early albums.
Whilst this album hits you with an abundance of heavy riffs and attitude, don’t be fooled into thinking that Trucker Diablo is just another heavy rock outfit. For those that have heard ‘Where Angels Fly,’ it is clear that this band has a phenomenal eye for writing and structuring songs of immense power, depth and emotion. And they close the album with another emotional opus ‘When The Waters Rise:’ When it comes to combining rock power with soaring emotion, few in the music business do it better, more directly and more honestly than Trucker Diablo. This is rock with real heart.
On my Friday rock show I’ve stopped talking about Classic Rock. I now talk about Contemporary Rock. From all corners of the UK, bright young performance rock bands are emerging. They’re not just the future – they are also the present; the bands setting out on new journeys and the bands on who we will depend to win new, younger audiences to guitar music. And Northern Ireland is fast becoming one of the exciting incubators behind this new generation of exciting rock bands. The Screaming Eagles, Gasoline Outlaws and Safire are bands we have covered in the past. Trucker Diablo are at the heart of this crop of bands – and with ‘Fighting For Everything’ we have one of the definitive heavy rock albums of 2017 – and an album that explains why it’s time for all of us to invest more time in tomorrow’s arena rock bands.
The album will be launched on 14 October 2017.