Trucker Diablo – Rise Above The Noise (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)

Genre: Hard Rock/Classic Rock

So here it is: glorious proof that 2012’s RUSHONROCK Rated: 10/10 Songs Of Iron was no fluke. In fact there’s pressure from within these four walls to do a Spinal Tap and go up to 11. Rise Above The Noise is that good.

Northern Ireland’s fearsome Nickelback/Black Stone Cherry fusion hit top form on what must be the best British rock record of the year. To describe Frankie McClay’s production as polished would be a gross understatement – Trucker’s long-time collaborator nails a sound that screams burning ambition and sparkling talent.

Here’s the truth: had Chad Kroeger and co. unleashed this hard rock beast under the Nickelback name – and cited Thin Lizzy as a primary influence – nobody would have batted an eyelid. That’s the calibre of the music here.

Party Like They Started The End Of The World might boast a ridiculously cumbersome song title but the tune’s a killer. Ballad Where Angels Fly features the exquisite keyboard skills of Quireboys’ Keith Weir and the evocative Take Me To The River almost tops the lot despite being buried four tracks from the end.

Three years ago it seemed the biggest challenge facing Trucker Diablo was how to trump Songs Of Iron. Having passed that test with consummate ease the future is theirs for the taking. Simon Rushworth

RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 Truck Of The Irish