Review: Texas Hippy Coalition – The Name Lives On
MNRK Heavy (April 21st 2023)
Reviewer: Chris O’Connor
The latest release from Texas Hippie Coalition, ‘The Name Lives On‘, is an absolute triumph of Southern Metal. The album opens with the explosive single ‘Hell Hounds‘ and from there, it’s an unrelenting ride of head-banging, fist-pumping goodness. This is a band that knows how to deliver hard-hitting, heavy music that hits you right in the gut.
What’s truly impressive about THC is their ability to carve out their own unique sound, even as they draw inspiration from the greats that came before them. While they’re often compared to Southern Rock and Texas bands, they’re so much more than that. With ‘The Name Lives On‘, THC has created their own genre, ‘Red Dirt Metal‘, and it’s a sound that has to be heard to be believed.
The band’s line-up of Big Dad Ritch on vocals, Cord Pool and Nevada Romo on guitars, Larado Romo on bass, and Joey Mandigo on drums is firing on all cylinders throughout the album. Their chemistry is undeniable, and it’s clear that they’re having a blast making music together.
Now, seven albums into their career, Big Dad Rich and his hombres are kicking harder than a Missouri mule on steroids, marrying colossal muscular riffs to colossal hooks, and the end result is a powerhouse of an album that simply cannot be ignored or denied. If you are unaware of their sound – think Blackfoot jamming with Black Label Society and Molly Hatchet– and you’re getting the gist of things.
The aforementioned ‘Hell Hounds‘ is all badass belligerence and gnarly attitude, with a crushing riff and a pulsing, floor-shaking rhythm, and is a towering statement of intent. ‘I Come From The Dirt‘ is a shuffling lurching beast, powered by a grinding riff and Rich’s outraged whiskey roar, while ‘Built For The Road‘ is a mid-tempo, hip shakin’ rocker, sleazy and gloriously loud ‘n’ lewd.
‘Scream‘ is a shit-kickin’, bombastic anthem, with a huge riff, a down ‘n’ dirty growling bassline, and a killer chorus! ‘Hard Habit‘ slows things down, it has a stuttering riff and a staccato rhythm, but with a gloriously melodic chorus. ‘Believe‘ is a true Southern Rawk gem of a number, this is a monster, and again, the band delivers a fabulous chorus – that you WILL be singing along to.
‘License To Kill‘ is another slow-burner, it’s almost ponderous in feel, Rich delivers another powerhouse vocal, he’s genuinely one of the best Southern Rock vocalists in a very long time! ‘Keep Your Name Out Of My Mouth‘ is somewhere between BLS and Pantera in sound and feel, holy hell this is heavy! ‘I Teach Angels How To Fly‘ is a smouldering and (dare I say it) soulful number, Rich turns in a truly beautiful vocal, and this is in the purest sense of the term – a power ballad. The album coda is also the title track, and ends the album in gloriously Red Dirt/Southern Rock style, it’s mean, moody, and utterly magnificent.
Overall, ‘The Name Lives On‘ is an exceptional album from start to finish. It’s a testament to Texas Hippie Coalition’s talent and creativity, and it’s sure to be a hit with fans of Southern Metal and heavy music in general. If you haven’t heard ‘Red Dirt Metal’ yet, now is the time to jump on board and experience one of the most exciting sounds in modern music! Sadly, THC can’t tour outside the USA, which is a huge loss – so we simply have to savour this album in leu of a tour. Damn.
01 Hell Hounds
02 I Come From The Dirt
03 Built For The Road
05 Hard Habit
07 License To Kill
08 Keep My Name Out Of Your Mouth
09 I Teach Angels How To Fly
10 The Name Lives On