Trucker Diablo – ‘Fighting For Everything’ (Self-Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by David O'Neill   
Monday, 18 September 2017 04:30

Trucker Diablo - FFEThis is the fourth album from the Armagh rockers. Having bought two of their prior CDs at Steelhouse this year, and had them on almost constant repeat in the car, I was looking forward to this release. So, when the boss dropped it into my inbox, I didn’t waste a second in turning the volume up to neighbour annoying volumes.

 

Well, what can I say? The first track, ‘Born Trucker’, opens pretty much where the other albums left me hanging, with a guitar sound that reminds me of some Bullet tracks. I can see this becoming firm favourite with HGV drivers if they actually take time to listen to it. The rhythm section carries the track exceedingly well with the vocals of all the band complementing each other well. There’s a really nice bass and guitar solo just before the final chorus that really makes the track for me. Good start guys.

 

Reading the press release that comes with the album I get the ethos behind it, as a few of the band have relatives with disabilities. So, the second track, ‘We Will Conquer’ all sets this up. The music is tight as rusty nuts and the riffage is slick and integrates well within the track.

 

Given that one of the band’s influences is Lynyrd Skynyrd, it was only a matter of time before a banjo made an appearance: right at the start of track three (‘Drown In The Fire’) seems as good a place as any, before rocking into typical unique Trucker sound and a haunting ethereal guitar riff half way through. ‘Voodoo II’ (a sequel to a track on their first album, ‘The Devil Rhythm’ – Ed) is a heavier than usual Trucker offer, but nonetheless it continues in the headbanging toe-tapping style of the rest of the album. ‘Let’s Just Ride’ is a slightly lighter track but still has a great sound to it before going into the title track, ‘Fighting For Everything’, a bass/guitar drum driven track with some great guitar work throughout.

 

‘Over The Wall’ (partially inspired by Game Of Thrones’ which was being filmed in their native Northern Ireland at the time of recording, and partially by their personal circumstances) starts a bit lighter but gets heavier, with some serious chugg in it and another interstellar guitar solo. I think this is my favourite track on the album. The lyrics, in parts, throughout all the songs are very deep and may come from an emotive place for some of the band members - but then music is about expressing yourself and evoking emotional responses in your target audience. If it doesn’t, it’s not likely to get anywhere. This album deserves to get TD to bigger and better places. Exposure at events like Steelhouse and Ramblin’ Man will only help their cause. But then their previous releases put them well on that road already.

 

The opening of ‘Detroit Steel’ just hooks you like a billhook does a tuna, then you’re in to your neck with the band basically telling you that nothing’s gonna grind them down. ‘Pocket Full Of Changes’ is a rapid-fire expression of the bands commitments, both personally and musically.

 

The final track, When The Waters Rise’ is much slower, starting with a violin carrying the song with some haunting simple clean guitar work before getting into full band work. This is where most of the emotion is expressed in the album. If you’re feeling a bit vulnerable or have recently lost some close then be prepared for the expression of emotion you are likely to get from this song. If you don’t you’re a cold-hearted SOB. (EDITORIAL NOTE: This song was Tom’s personal response to an incident in the Irish town of Buncrana in March 2016, where a family died when their car slipped into the water, with only a baby surviving after the father managed to hand it to a passer-by, who had dived in to try and save them. You can read the whole story in the Belfast Telegraph.)

 

 

Overall, this is probably Trucker’s best work, due in no small part to the personal expression of emotions. If we did the scores on the doors thing, I’d give it 8.5/10.

 

‘Fighting For Everything’ is released on 14 October, but available now to supporters of their PledgeMusic campaign. On the same date, Trucker Diablo officially launch the album at Bar Sub! in Queen’s University Belfast. They also headline the Über Rock-backed Rock’n’Roll Circus Charity Xmas Bash, in aid of the Stepping Stones Appeal, at the Doll’s House in Abertillery on Friday 8 December.

 

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