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Monday, March 02, 2015

ALBUM REVIEW: Muscular melodic Trucker Diablo show their quality on Rise Above The Noise

LAST year Jake Burns of SLF told us that recording an album on Pledge Music was a challenge because when a band enters a studio people have already committed their cash before hearing or knowing what the album would sound like, or whether their audience would 'get it'.

Thus, when Trucker Diablo. decided to end their temporary hiatus it must have taken balls the sizes of water melons to commit fans to purchase 'Rise Above The Noise' before a singe track had been laid down in pre-production in the Rock Shed.

But, fans faith has been rewarded by an album that would put many a major league artists to shame: indeed if labels are not clamouring for Trucker's signatures on contracts they are idiots.

From opener 'Fight Life' through to closer 'Don't Cry' this is masterclass in muscular, melodic hard rock: all the elements that make art form such a cathartic and joyous experience.

With the likes of 'Girl in a Photograph' eeking out the hard rock groove - with stunning solo to boot -  and the anthemic 'Party Like They Started The End Of The World' there is not a dud track.

Amidst all the songs with the trademark Trucker bottom end they are comfortable stretching their sound. The southern rock infused 'Take Me To the River' will have many of the so-called southern boogie bands going back to the drawing board.

Taking the hard rock template to its most impressive format - the power ballad -  Trucker deliver something extraordinary in the shape of 'Murder Ballad'. Hard rock acts across the globe will shake their heads in disbelief as they find they have had their asses handed to them on the proverbial plate by Northern Ireland's Trucker Diablo.

It is clear that the band has emerged from its hiatus invigorated, energised and effervescent. Damn it, hard rock is never better than this.

But, by the same token this is not a one-dimensional release of hard rock. Instead Tom (Harte) and his compadr├ęs have delivered a rounded album, full of hard rock standards, tight appropriate solos and riffs that roll and rock the way they should - just listen to the closing few minutes of 'Sun Deprives The Day'. And as for 'We Stand Strong'....live this will be a killer!

What could have been a train wreck after the impressive 'Songs of Iron' instead shows Trucker Diablo triumph. When the Quireboys Keith Weir tickles the ivories it is but another part of the Trucker package that pulls no punches, aided by Frankie McClay's production.

If you have not managed to get this album then make tracks to get it...that's not a suggestion, that's an order!

Rise Above The Noise is out now! The 'official' album release party is on March 7th at the Diamond Rock Club in Ahoghill Rock City...

Review by Jonny

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