Nobody remembers the self-titled debut for Johnny Diesel & the Injectors. I, however, do remember it well and have tried, several times, to purchase it on digital media, to replace my worn out cassette which got chewed up. Weirdly, it is an album that was blues-rock perfection and should have been massive. Instead, it merely fizzled and the Injectors only kept going for one more album before calling it a day with Diesel moving on to more mainstream light rock…A real shame.
At the time, critical praise was heaped on the Australian band, fronted by the said Johnny Diesel, who was actually one Mark Lizotte. The album should be checked out by all rock fans as it is a real forgotten gem, chock full of meaty guitars and fantastic singing. The record was produced by well-known American producer Terry Manning (ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Bryan Adams) and sounds as if it were written by a heart-worn Delta bluesman.
The album rips out the gate with “Looking for Love“, which absolutely sets the bar for massive driving blues rock. This is a song which Joe Bonamassa could only dream of writing. It is then followed up with “Parisienne Hotel“, which swaggers with AC/DC strutting and blasts out the holes in the sonic walls.
It is a real mystery to me why this long player is not considered by more as the stone cold classic it really is. Diesel was the epitome of cool, with a massive greaser quiff, skinny jeans and the desperado dark glasses. His band rocked out with a swagger that working tough Oz bars would give you. They had songs stuffed with classic hooks, crunching geetars and a soul that beat true blue collar bonhomie.
Other standout tracks include the heartbreaker “Cry in Shame“, the groove-tastic “Soul Revival“, the brooding “Burn” and the swampy stomper “Thang II“.
Johnny, why did you leave the sun behind? Get back to playing rock like this and get the Injectors back to playing like the rock stars they are. See you in the front row!