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13.12.11

Trucker Diablo - 'The Devil Rhythm' (Ripple Music) 5/5

Ok, this lots are new to me. Apparently Trucker Diablo are out of Northern Ireland and are a four piece formed by some veterans of the local music scene; and recently they are having a bit of a purple patch. This, their debut album, has gotten its self a worldwide release through that home of all this old school and interesting, Ripple music, are getting airplay on five continents and early next year are out on the road with Black Stone Cherry.

Now listening through to this album its easy to see what all the excitement is all about. Trucker Diablo play good old no nonsense heads down boogie fueled damnation rock and roll. Imagine a truck load of Molly Hatchett and Black Oak Arkansas style southern boogie in a motorway horror smash with a cargo of Spider / Dedringer style NWOBHM and a van load of Black Stone Cherry type modern hard-rock sensibilities piling into the wreckage and you'll get the general idea. The end result has a certain Almighty vibe to it, and it's no surprise to find former Almighty front man Ricky Warwick turning up to add his voice to the track Juggernaut.

Gotta say I'm finding this one right up my musical alley. Tracks like the opener and current single Drink Beer, Destroy with its beer fueled blue collar slam boogie riffage and mob yell chorus; the Sweet Savage style truckers anthem Big Truck, the juke-joint sleaze of Dirty Love and the ZZ Top on Steroids drive and grind of When Angels Die: all thunder straight from the speakers like the devils own 18 wheeler and they give you a simple choice, get on and enjoy the ride - or end up as another lump of roadkill in their musical wake.

The performance and the production here can't be faulted - its smooth enough to be clear, balanced and 100% listenable, but still retains enough rawness and rough edges to keep its greasy rock sensibilities true and maintain the whole 'rock and roll is the devils music' feel.

This is one of the best truckin' rock and truckin' roll albums of recent years, and I'm not alone in that opinion, When they number the likes of Dee Snider (Twisted mutha truckin' Sister) and Joe Elliot (Def Leppard) amongst their admirers, you know you have summit special on your hands, and I've got high hopes that this may just be the album that puts old school hard rock and roll back in the public eye where it belongs.

Its truckin' great, buy it and love it forever.

For fans of... Grifter, The Almighty, Motortrain, Sweet Savage, Black Stone Cherry, Drivin' and Cryin'....

KoRn - 'The Path Of Totality' (roadrunner) 3.5/5

Anyone who has read back through the reviews in this blog will already know of my utter and intense dislike for dance music, so when I read that KoRn were teaming up with a load of drum machine monkeys to do a full album I was filled with a more than a little dread and bile. After all Korn themselves are a band I can take or leave at the best of times, and the thought of having to listen to a full album their stuff remixed for the pilled up dance-floor massive was more than bit off putting. Still Roadrunner were good enough to send me a copy and ask for my honest opinion, so here goes....

Ok on first play I gotta say this isn't as bad as I was prepared for. At least what we have on offer here are real songs, not endless drum loops with three second sampled hooks dropped in at random, and to be honest some of the songs here are fairly good, for KoRn tracks. The opener Chaos Lives In Everything is probably the best cut on offer here, Like most of the album it comes over  little like Rammstein and features some nice metal riffage and even the dub-step drum beats don't annoy too much. And so the album continues. Other high points that suprised me a bit were the Peter Gabrielesque Sanctuary and the dark industrial grind of Way Too Far.

In fact there are only three places on the entire album that had me reaching for the next track button, the two Skrillex produced tracks, Narcissistic Cannibal & Get Up, where fair competent songs are ruined by scratch mix masturbation and pointless random drum beat breakdowns; and the closer Bleeding Out, where what starts out as a nice downbeat chilled out bit of post rock ambiance is ruined by over complex drum beats, naff euro trance synth breakdowns and a mix that buries the vocals into a wall of acid dub whatever drum machine monkeyisms and a strange and pointless bagpipe sample sequence.

I'm still suprised I made it to the end of the record with out wanting to throw up, or smash up the CD player, and for me to say that really is something. Don't get me wrong, this has done nothing to win me over to dance fusion, or make me a KoRn fan, but at least its something in that genre that I can listen to without a psychotic reaction.

Not as bad as you would expect.

For fans of... Pendulum, Rammstien etc...