I've followed the career of Texas Hippie Coalition with some interest over the last eight years and now four albums. From crafting their own niche of 'red dirt metal,' affirming their Texas roots, to Big Dad Rich's overwhelming presence and melodic rasp, the band has created a presence as large as the state they represent.
With Ride On, the heavy swagger of their Southern metal groove continues. Rich has often described their sound as Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top having a child raised by Pantera, and that's still on target, with more of the latter's thickness and edge. But THC has the upper hand when it comes to rock groove which they sneak in with a much stealth as West Texas dust storm.
And the best songs for the Texas hippies has always been those where the groove grabs you, catches your ears, and gets your toes tapping. This time around they come with the ZZ Top-ish El Diablo Rojo, the thick Monster In Me, the stompin' Rock Ain't Dead (and dig those drums), and the huge groove monster Rubbins Racin, likely my favorite song. Another song like I Am The End can be straightforward take no prisoner thumper where the riffs and heaviness trump most every other element. But there is room for a striking lead from new guitarist Cord Pool. Alternatively, where the Coalition can stumble a bit, there's the title cut which seems only to rumble along from to start to finish, unwavering it's heavy progression. Yet, even this observation gave me pause. Texas Hippie Coalition seems at that point in their career where nothing really changes anymore. That's not to say they're stagnant, only that their sound is their own now, and will likely never vary in the near future. I'm not sure if that's good news or not.
With Texas Hippie Coalition's Ride On, the heavy swagger of their Southern metal groove continues.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]