DIESEL (Robert Hart) – Into The Fire [Escape Music reissue 2022]

DIESEL (Robert Hart) - Into The Fire [Escape Music reissue 2022] full

Escape is reissuing the British band / project DIESEL album “Into The Fire“, featuring some of the best musicians in today’s rock scene. With lead vocals from the great Robert Hart (Solo / Bad Company / Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) and guitars from FM’s very own Jim Kirkpatrick, this is a match made in heaven as they combine their songwriting skills and musicianship to come up with this fantastic debut by Diesel.
Diesel plays solid traditional classic rock in the manner of Bad Company, the sort of music that has firm roots in the classic vein of British hard rock with a blues element. Accompanied by Jim Copley (Manfred Man’s Earth Band, Go West, and Paul Rodgers) and Pat Davey (Seven) who provide the solid rhythm backbone of the band, this quartet can give you great songs and first rate melodies all day long.
It’s great to see that the guest list includes Adam Wakeman (Black Sabbath, Snakecharmer) and Steve Overland (FM, Shadowman), rounded off with the mixing skills of Tommy Hansen. From “Fortune Favours the Brave” to “Brand New Day” we are presented with delight after delight as they effortlessly give us an array of classic rock tunes.

Diesel fuse AOR with harder-edged melodies beefed up by Hart’s vocal talents. Certainly fans of Bad Company – after Paul Rodgers first flew the nest – will lap this up, but there’s enough on offer here to please anyone who likes that no nonsense brand of mid-to-late 80s classic hard rock.
The album opens with the swaggering ‘Love Under Cover’ which begins with a driving guitar and drum and Robert Hart’s yapping vocal. This is solid, fiery rock with a dash of Hammond organ and enough suaveness to keep you rockin’ until the cows come home. The chorus is simple yet effective, but the track is bolstered by that molten guitar sound which pushes it along at quite a pace.

The title track again leads in on a cool solo and Hart’s hushed tones – the drum is constant, a hurried heartbeat that builds to the pre-chorus strains and then that barked chorus of power and groove-based melody born out of a rushing organ and killer riff.
It’s fair to say that Diesel opt for consistency throughout, giving the feel of a safe yet sturdy record that is nigh on faultless and jam-packed with monster grooves. The intriguing thing about this album is that despite its simplicity as a hard rock opus and its influences (FM, Bad Company, Rainbow etc.), there is not a trace of the dated.
And weirder still, it also defers away from modern dynamics, meaning that ”Into The Fire” has a timeless feel about it. The cosier AOR elements of ‘Starting Over’ walk hand in hand with the harder ingredients which add spice to rockers such as ‘Bitter & Twisted’, with its powerful vocal and pounding drums.

Elsewhere, there is the 70s-influenced swagger of ‘Brand New Day’ with its hints of Free, while the uptempo jaunt of ‘Let’s Take The Long Way Home’ is uplifting as a slice of contemporary AOR. None of us care about the rather basic structures used to make this hard rock opus. This is how rock is meant to be at times – the sort of music you don’t have to think too much about but instead can just take in wherever you may be.

‘Told You So’ continues the swagger with its soulful, hip-shaking chorus of tambourine and bouncing organ, but again it’s the guitar of Jim Kirkpatrick which elevates this track above the norm. The funkier strands of ‘What You See Ain’t What You Get’ slot nicely alongside the Led Zeppelin-ish strut of ‘Skin & Bone’, while album closer ‘Coming Home’ is a warm dose of flaky, floating whispered rock.

Diesel mix things up well and throw them all into the fire (excuse the dreary pun!), the result being a warm yet edgy little record that makes for easy listening throughout.
Highly Recommended


01 – Love Under Cover
02 – Into the Fire
03 – Starting Over
04 – Fortune Favours the Brave
05 – Brand New Day
06 – Bitter and Twisted
07 – So What Is Love
08 – Let’s Take the Long Way Home
09 – Told You So
10 – What You See Ain’t What You Get
11 – Skin and Bone
12 – Coming Home

Robert Hart – vocals
Jim Kirkpatrick – guitars, backing vocals, keyboards, percussion
Jimmy Copley – drums
Pat Davey – bass
Adam Wakeman – keyboards
Steve Overland – backing vocals, additional guitars on 12



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