TRUCKER DIABLO1THERE are many great bands I could mention here but since I was asked to give my top five these, in no particular order, are the bands from Northern Ireland, I think are worth keeping an eye on in 2014.

TRUCKER DIABLOTRUCKER DIABLO2This band are a four piece Southern style rock band from Moira/Lurgan, with elements of classic and hard rock all rolled into one big truck. They began in early 2008 with four friends wanting to play the music they love.

Having already established themselves in both Ireland & the UK, Trucker are a band with big aims.

With two albums, several music videos (which have been featured on Kerrang TV), regular worldwide radio plays and several support slots (Thin Lizzy & The Foo Fighters) & festival shows (Download) the band are no doubt getting their name out there.

Currently signed to Ripple Music (U.S) & Bad Reputation (France) the band has their single “Drink Beer, Destroy” featured on Kerrang TV, MTV Australia and video game Rock Band 3. Sounding like Thin Lizzy & Black Stone Cherry with a bottle of Jack, Trucker Diablo are one of the best local bands on the scene today.

US TV show – That Metal Show said Trucker are a band to keep your eye on & I certainly agree with that!

MAVERICKmaverickHailing from Belfast, this four piece hard rock band began in 2012. Sounding like Poison, Skid Row & Motley Crue all thrown into the 21st Century.

Their debut EP Talks Cheap proved to be a huge success locally. The band practically appeared onto the local scene and tore it to pieces, with a huge following, a great EP and a string of live performances.

They recently signed to European label Massacre Records. This can only mean big things for the band. It also proves they’re one to watch out for. Their debut album will be released in Summer 2014 & if the EP is anything to go by, then its certainly one to be anticipated with bated breath.

With vocals that wouldn’t sound out of place on the Sunset Strip in 1980, guitar solos to match the likes of Mick Mars from Motley Crue and a rhythm section that more than holds the band together, Maverick are going strong and are ready to take the scene by storm.

LITTLE MISS STAKESLittle Miss StakesAnother band hailing from Belfast but unlike that of practically any other local band, the four piece horror punk band do things their own way.

Beginning in 2012, the band sound like the love child of Wednesday 13 and the Misfits but with their own catchy spin on things, and of course doing it without sounding like a rip off.

Currently with two EPs under their wing and several local gigs (including a performance in HMV and an EP launch in The Empire, Belfast) this band are definitely going places.

Having also filmed a music video for their song Mina which they got fans involved in, Little Miss Stakes are certainly another band to keep your eye on. With the aim of recording a debut, full length this year, they are going from strength to strength.

CADAVER CLUBCadaver Club 1Another band unlike the others, Cadaver Club (Along with Little Miss Stakes) are the only two horror punk bands on the island of Ireland.

Cadaver Club are an impressive quartet of horror & funeral punk (which they label themselves as).
Hailing from the depths of Enniskillen, Undead since 2012 the band are going from strength to strength with a full length under their belt, two music videos, a successful Pledge Music campaign, a great line of merchandise (even featuring christmas cards) and a successful UK tour with the Deadly Romantics.

They sound like a wild breed of the Misfits, the Ramones, the Wildhearts with a touch of dirty punk rock and even pop. With all of these influences it’s easy to sound like a copy, but Cadaver Club sound more original that a lot of bands out there today.

With plans for more shows, music and music videos, Cadaver Club are a band to keep your eyes on, or should I say undead eyes on.

MOURNING OF THE HERETIC (MOTH)MOTH1Classing themselves as “Dark Metal from the Pits of Northern Ireland”, Mourning Of The Heretic (also known as MOTH) are a Gothic Metal band from Derry/Londonderry. (Beginning in 2012)

With two self produced EP’s under their belt and a large amount of live shows across Northern Ireland, the band are easily one of the best bands from Derry.

Sounding like an evil mix of Cradle Of Filth & HIM, the gothic metal quartet put on an impressive live show, matching the likes of Cradle Of Filth. Their two EPs are dark, gothic and almost Edgar Alan Poe like. The vocals are mind blowing (alike that of Dani Filth & Pete Steel : Type O Negative), the guitar is fast yet melodic and the rhythm section thumping. The music itself is well produced and extremely original sounding.
A band worth watching out for. Both EPs are available for free download on their bandcamp.

By Chris Cardwell