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Monday, 9 March 2015

Reviews: The Answer, Trucker Diablo, Furyon

The Answer: Raise A Little Hell (Napalm)

The Downpatrick rockers return with their fifth album and its back to basics with a sound not to dissimilar to their debut Rise. Swaggering bluesy, hard rock riffs are the order of the day, with much of the album harking back to the likes of Zep, Purple and Free. The great thing about The Answer is that even thought they stick to their   Long Live The Renegades and the sensual Aerosmith-like Last Days Of Summer are both driven by a funked-up bass riff from Michael Waters, while The Other Side has that almost religious revival feel the band do so well. On this fifth album the band are yet again on top form, with all four members contributing to the magic they are both entirely modern and steeped in classic rock history. This can be witnessed on the filthy and flirty Aristocrat on which the sound of their previous tour mates AC/DC looms large as it does on I Am What I Am. Guitarist Paul Mahon moving between Angus Young, Paul Kossoff and Jimmy Page with ease as James Heatley's drums keep the pace, the hard rock backing the band provide is the perfect foil for Cormac Neeson's amazing vocals who has a soothing croon on Cigarettes & Regret and the fantastic, uplifting, pastoral Strange Kind Of Nothing but when he goes into full flight on Whiplash cursing the devil himself and lamenting for his witchy woman on Red which is the obvious first single. This album has 12 great hard rock songs that are born in the bayou, but with a belly full of Guinness (something that myself and the Hutchings' have experienced while witnessing the band live) allowing them to conjure up a fire many bands fail to match, hell even the bonus tracks are worth tracking down the special edition for, Feel Like I'm On My Way and Flying being the pick of the bunch. The quality of this album rarely dips with every track of sparkling quality which means that all in all this a solid set of hard rock songs from a band criminally overlooked, hopefully this record will help them raise a little hell in the business and get the recognition they deserve! 8/10          

Trucker Diablo: Rise Above The Noise (Self Released)

One of the blackest days for the MoM was when one of our fave bands Trucker Diablo called it a day. We first saw them at Steelhouse 2013 and they proved to be the perfect band for a a weekend of hard drinking and equally hard rock music, their alcohol fuelled, fist pounding anthems meant that they held a special place in our collective hearts, with one of our number even investing in a TD work-shirt. So imagine the joy then, when they announced a pledge campaign stating that a new album was on the way with only original bassist Glenn Harrison not returning, he has been replaced by Jim McGurk, but the rest of the band remain intact. Are Trucker Diablo the same riff wielding, beer swilling, rock monsters with a keen melodic ear they were two years ago? Well that's a ten four good buddy the Big Truck is still most definitely rolling as the album kicks off with some big, fat southern rock guitars that plant you firmly in Black Stone Cherry territory as Fight Life with a huge uplifting hook and lyrics about struggles and being the person you want to be, an anthemic start then and straight into the heavyweight racket of Party Like They Started The End Of The World which calls for partying in spades, surely one for the live arena as the image of beers aloft is engrained as part of this song. McGurk's bass works brilliantly with Terry Crawford's drums he blends seamlessly with the band anchoring the guitars of Simon Haddock and Tom Harte, Harte's vocals are great moving effortlessly between crooning ballads like Somebody Save Me and the saccharine Where Angels Fly; big, ballsy rockers like We Stand Strong, the Lizzy-like Girl In The Photograph, which has the spirit of Lynott, Gorham, Robertson and Downey coursing through it and the country-tinged Take Me To The River. The melodies are still here in spades and thankfully so are the riffs but I will say one thing there are a few too many slower ballad like songs on this record, but that is a personal thing, for the most part though this is a quality come back for the Norn Irish truckers!! 8/10           

Furyon: Lost Salvation (Dream Records)

Five years since their well received debut album Gravitas, the Brighton rockers return with their sophomore offering. Between then and now the band have toured continuously and have honed their sound more, not that much was needed as the band seemed to be fully formed and professional from the outset. So what do they sound like? Well if you haven't heard their debut then the band skilfully mix modern and classic rock influences together while wrapping everything up in a metallic sheen much like American rockers Alter Bridge or Shinedown, who's producer Rick Beato twiddles the knobs on this record. With fat, riffing throughout from Tiago Rosando and Luca Faraone especially on the hammering title track which could be Tremonti and co in full flight. the two men move swiftly between rumbling rhythm, melodic leads and soaring solos easily providing the band with some great songs anchored by a sturdy boiler room in Lee Farmery and Alex Bowen  much of the modern metal comparisons come from vocalist Matt Mitchell's voice sounding like a mix between M Shadows, Chris Cornell and of course Myles Kennedy. Mitchell's voice is very strong with a good range and his similarity to Shadows and Kennedy is uncanny in parts especially on the chest beating These Four Walls, which is followed by the slow and brooding Scapegoat and Resurrect Me which sounds a lot like Headstrong by Breaking Benjamin with a bit of No More Tears thrown in. With a keen ear for melody and the right amount of heaviness Furyon do a very good job of challenging the Americans at their own game. If love your American radio metal with a bit of Brit guts then you'll love Lost Salvation. 7/10        

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