Diesel America Show ReviewDate: July 7, 2015
A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing a hard rock band from NYC called Diesel America. Since this was my first interview and having never heard of the band before, I was a little nervous and had limited time to go through their work and what their sound was. Needless to say, after listening to their "Leave Your Mark" album, I was hooked. This was mainly because it was raw, hard edged and exactly what you would expect from a real hard rock band. Hard rock's definition has definitely changed over the last couple of years, and most bands who claim they are "hard rock" actually have nothing hard about them. Hard rock is suppose to represent mean and hard-edged riffs, angry and dark vocals and nothing too over-produced. Bands such as Life of Agony, Slash and the Conspirators, and Godsmack are prime examples some of what modern hard rock bands should sound like. Diesel America most definitely fits in with the genre and is defining what hard rock really is.
To briefly review the album, I am going to be frank and say it is living up to the hard rock genre and is doing it justice. It was co-produced by Joey Z who is the guitarist from Life of Agony, and has the perfect amount of rawness to it, which is what we should be looking for in a hard rock band. The riffs are mean, fast paced and in your face. The lyrical work on the album is far from polished. It is explicit, raw and gets the anger out in a way that it doesn't seem like it's trying too hard (songs such as River Through, Do What I Want, First Day and Backbone are great examples). I predict in the next 4-5 years, Diesel America will be one of the biggest bands out there and will be credited for bringing back hard rock in its organic form!
Last Week, they invited me to their show in NYC at the Gramercy Theater where they were opening up for Texas Hippie Coalition. Having heard the album and remembering how great the work was, I was hoping that the live performance would live up to it. I had this thought because sometimes bands will not live up to their studio performances when they play live (which is another issue in itself). Once they started the set, I was blown away. Not only was the band really tight and had great energy on stage, but the vocals were pitch perfect. Vic Russo (vocalist) did an extraordinary job on the album and he, without a doubt, lived up to it on stage. His energy to keep the crowd going could not have gone unnoticed. Kevin Galligan's guitar work and bluesy/hard-edge riffs were a perfect combination with the vocals and it mixed in extremely well. The rest of the band were perfectly in sync and the only complain I had was that they ended their set too early. They closed with a Misfits cover of "Where Eagles Dare" which got the crowd pumping and in action and left everyone wanting more.
This is also a response to Peter Mensch, who is the manager for Metallica, and what he said about hard rock. Mensch mentions that "There aren't quality new hard rock bands to keep it up. Hard rock used to appeal, essentially, to your average 15-year-old male. He had bad skin, he didn't like his parents, girls didn't like him, and he was an angry kid –he was frustrated. And, lo and behold, there were 10,000 other people like yourself.
The problem is, and we ask this all the time, where is the new Metallica? Please, anybody out there that's in a hard rock band under the age of 25, call me. We need you." Well Mr. Mensch here is your next biggest band. Here's the band that has all the qualities of hard rock that you are looking for and what you expect from them, in the studio and on stage. I suggest you give them a call ASAP because this is a band that you do not want to ignore.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this piece are the opinions of the writers alone, they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of WSOU, Seton Hall University, nor any of its affiliates.