Hot off the Press

Trucker Diablo | Songs of Iron

by Mark Allen
– Senior Columnist —

Trucker Diablo Songs of IronIf you relish red-blooded hard rock with a southern-fried swagger, prepare to have your ears steamrolled like an 18-wheeler flattening an armadillo. It has been said that the devil has all the good music. If so, then this new album from Trucker Diablo is surely populating Ol’ Scratch’s iPod.

Songs of Iron begs to be max-cranked at a Texas monster truck rally with a cold beer in one hand and a corndog in the other. It’s whiskey-whipped, sweat-soaked, testosterone-torqued, hot-rodding down the highway, long live rock ‘n’ roll kind of music. In other words, high-octane fun designed to be played loud and proud and absent lofty pretensions.

You could argue the band’s sound is simplistic and you would not be wrong. Big guitars, copious power chords, sizzling solos, crunchy rhythms, catchy choruses … it’s all present, slathered in southern sleaze like barbecue sauce on a spitted pig. But that is exactly the point. Sometimes you don’t reinvent the wheel; you just make a damn good wheel.

If you don’t hear a souped-up Skynyrd blended with Black Label Society and Blackstone Cherry, then you’re not paying attention. Sure, all the songs sort of sound the same, but when they sound this good, who gives a Dixie damn? A man having a threesome with identical twin supermodels does not whine that both girls look alike, he just lays back and enjoys himself. Same principle applies here.

The band is at their best when roaming in radio-friendly territory. To many hard rock fans, “radio-friendly” is a dirty word, akin to saying “motherf*cker” in the midst of Sunday Morning Mass. But in Trucker Diablo’s defense, they manage to do radio-friendly without sacrificing their balls in the process. Even their power ballad, “Maybe You’re the One,” boasts a heavier vibe than, say, Firehouse or Winger.

Elsewhere, “Red Light On” roars out of the gate like a top fuel dragster, hammering it home with a heavy-hitting groove and body-moving swagger. “Bulldozer” is a big bruiser of a southern-metal anthem packed with power and clenched-fist aggression, as evidenced by lyrics like, “You’re gonna light ‘em up / and I’m gonna knock them down.” The most ‘80s-esque song title award goes to “I Wanna Party With You” and no surprise, there is a hint or two of hair metal lacing the track. You can easily picture this tune being sung by Poison or Cinderella, bands that excelled at merging bad boy blues with pretty boy pop-metal.

Though hailing from Northern Ireland, Trucker Diablo could not sound more American if they chugged a keg of Budweiser, gluttonized a bucket of extra-crispy fried chicken, and topped it off with shots of Jack Daniels while sitting on the rusty tailgate of a mud-spattered Ford Bronco with oversized tires and wearing a rebel flag bandana. Songs of Iron sports some bare knuckle, hard-brawling muscle and will kick your ass in all the right ways.

Genre: Hard Rock, Southern Rock

Tom Harte (guitar, vocals)
Simon Haddock (guitar, vocals)
Glenn Harrison (bass)
Terry Crawford (drums)

Track Listing
1. Red Light On
2. Year of the Truck
3. The Rebel
4. Drive
5. Not So Superstar
6. The Streets Run Red
7. Lie To Me
8. Maybe You’re the One
9. Bulldozer
10. Rock Hallelujah
11. Highway Radio
12. When’s It Gonna Rain
13. Shame On You
14. I Wanna Party With You

Label: Ripple Music (US) / Bad Reputation (FRA)


Hardrock Haven rating: 8.5/10