If there is one thing certain in these uncertain times it is the fact that the Big Truck Keeps on Rolling as Trucker Diablo look at the pandemic and state that no matter what, quality hard and heavy music provides the pulse and heartbeat we all need.
The pandemic put paid to plans to release their latest album, Tail End Of A Hurricane, in 2020, but suffice to say that waiting a little bit longer makes this all the more welcome.
Anyone following hard rock, emerging from Northern Ireland, over the past several years knows that Trucker Diablo have been kicking ass and taking names along with the finest in the world. Heavy, melodic, masterful are not hyperbole as they have been consistently delivering the goods from Day One.
And, yes, they are still drinking beer and destroying on Tail End Of A Hurricane, a 13-track monster of an album that has variety in its tunes, but never varies from the attitude that good music can inspire, can lift and can help us transcend the shit show around us.
That is apparent on opener BTKOR (you should know what it stands for by now). Like a Big Mac, hauling attitude, this rolls over your delicate sensibilities and urges us to raise our beers and celebrate music.
However, don’t be fooled that this is just a big dumb riff-fest. As always, Trucker can deliver more sophistication than most as they plough many different furrows. I’m Still Alive is more uplifting that a lorry load of Wonder Bras.
And, that is a theme that is maintained through many of the 13-tracks – life-affirming, lift your beer and celebrate. No more so than on Rock Kids of the 80s, an ode to those of, ahem, a certain vintage. Besides being catchier than any virus it is a toast to simpler times when music on the radio and TV wasn’t decided by advertisers and influencers. Fuck you Simon Cowell, this is a toast to real music.
That Trucker can catch the zeitgeist is apparent on Insects, a metallic, punk-like rage at the vitriolic trolls and nastiness of the keyboard warriors pervading the online world, yet still delivering positivity by saying ‘it’s okay not to be okay’.
Positivity and hope in the face of any adversity is also played out large on Don’t Hold On To Hate that has melodies in abundance.
The ability to adapt and transform their influences into their own sound is apparent on The Trade. Many a Southern Boogie act would give half their back catalogue up for an intro like this, trade-off guitar licks and a chorus that demands to be shouted along to.
Trucker Diablo member are relatively long enough in the tooth that many might expect they could just keep doing what they have done before, but they are way too smart to fall into complacency. Woodstock to Vietnam is both a story about people taking different paths in the ‘hippie era’ but also serves to provoke thoughts about the divided times we endure.
The title track is propelled along to start with a driving bassline before the whole song unfolds as something that demands and commands attention as the layers of lyrics and music unfold. It’s not just the tweaks to tempo, or the solos, it is a complete hard rock symphony in four minutes. New Wave of Classic Rock they declare about many wannabes, but Trucker deliver proper classic rock without needing any ‘new wave’ tag.
The brooding album closer Bury The Ocean is an example of what makes Trucker Diablo that bit different, that bit special. Moody, introspective, yet looking at possibilities amidst the chaos. This is how you conclude your sermon in 2021 by thought-provoking words and guitar lines that match every part of the track.
Tail End Of A Hurrican is an album that encompasses Trucker Diablo’s intent from the first time they stepped into a recording studio. They take their influence seriously, yet do not follow them slavishly, preferring to put their own stamp on them.
This a glorious musical light as we look forward to entering the end game of the pandemic, and as such there is no way you won’t be able to singalong to Set The Night On Fire. You will not be able to resist; go on grab a beer and hold on tight to the Tail End Of A Hurricane.
Trucker Diablo release Tail End Of A Hurricane on May 7. Buy it, that is all.