Label: Escape Music
Review By: Alan Holloway
This one came out of the blue – a collaboration between, among others, Jim Kirkpatrick, FM’s guitar slinger, and ex Bad Company voice Robert Hart. Whether this will be a studio only event only time will tell, but trust me when I say that once you hear it you’ll be praying for some live shows.
The album starts off with a bit of a bang, as Kirkpatrick goes all Satriani in the aggressive and catchy “Love Under Cover”. At this points it’s obvious that Hart can still toe the line vocally, and expectations are well and truly set. “Into the Fire” follows, and is another fast paced track with a sweaty beat and greasy feel that definitely reminds me of the last FM album “Rockville”. This happens a lot, to be honest, as “Into the Fire” shares a lot with Jim’s other band (not least their lead singer, as Mr Overland provides backing vocals here). This isn’t to say that Diesel are indistinguishable from modern day FM, but I have to admit that if you like “Rockville” you will absolutely love “Into the Fire”.
Throughout the album there’s a very heavy blues influence, which is expected with these two at the helm, but this isn’t old school, sittin’ on a porch blues – this is modern, heavy handed stuff. “Fortune Favours The Brave”, for example, has a monster riff, yet like many other tracks it mixes it with a great, catchy chorus. Perhaps the best singalong track is “Brand New Day”, which has a chorus right out of the Big Book Of AOR, accompanies by a neat little guitar flick that begs to be played in an open top sports car on a hot summer day. It's not the only one, with stuff like "What Is Love" and "Let's Take The Long Way Home" equally guilty of being too catchy for their own good.
In essence, “Into The Fire” mixes heavy, melodic blues, AOR with catchy choruses and the sort of old school vibe that Heaven & Earth did so very well on last year’s “Dig” album. Both Kirkpatrick and Hart put in sterling performances, and there’s some truly memorable tracks scattered throughout. Certainly not just another run of the mill team up, Diesel have come straight in at the top with an album that encompasses all that is great about British rock. Go get it.