Released: 2012, Carved Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Chasing down fugitives is a tale that spans genres, and even galaxies – you all remember Boba Fett in Star Wars – although that did end in a horrible sandy digestion. As the obvious bit of their name so well suggests, Texas Hippie Coalition hail from the big T, telling the tales of modern outlaws – the type to square up to this generation’s reality-tv’s Dog the Bounty Hunter sorts.
Playing what they deem ‘red dirt metal’, which sounds like they could be trying to flog you some rusty old crap and trying to dress it up but thankfully just relates to their hometown geology, Texas Hippie Coalition are kind of ZZ Top gone young gunslinger, Pantera after moonshine, and the crashers at Hellyeah’s party.
Album three, Peacemaker, respectively takes this yarn-spinning, grit, and good times, stirs it over a late night campfire, and turns out something that gets more of its bullets on target than not. It’s all pretty gungho or should that be gun-ho, but it’s an enthusiasm you can get on board with.
Although as I said this is album trois, Texas Hippie Coalition are obviously not banking on their wanted posters having made their mugs globally known as first track ‘Hands Up’ begins with the introductory lyrics: ‘I’m a king of Texas for those who don’t know me, and we’re a band of outlaws, call us THC.’ ‘Nuff said.
They needn’t worry though as ‘Head Up’ won’t need to turn its gun to get a crowd to put their hands in the air – it’s power-driven groove will do that on its own. ‘Turn It Up’ makes ZZ Top’s ‘La Grange’ sounds like a gentleman’s club with enough sleaze to grease the poles it’s singing about, whilst ‘Don’t Come Lookin’’ is a slower, but not quieter, on-the-run tale. ‘8 Seconds’ opening riff is very Viking Skull, and in the same way invites you to bang your head for its entire 4-minutes and 2-seconds running time.
‘Paw Paw Hill’ has an engaging country vibe to it, but it’s the moment when Big Dad Ritch’s voice screams out ‘Let’s rock n roll’ that is really a clench-your-ass high point. In fact the vocals are one of the best things about Texas Hippie Coalition, the Stetson on top of the cake if you like.
The biggest problem with Peacemaker is the same as many others in this musical space in that the lyrics often edge into the dangerously-cringey – ‘Wicked’, ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock And Roll’ and ‘Damn You To Hell’ are all cases in point. But here’s the thing, on the latter for example, the music rides roughshod over those bits that might not sit so easy.
The outlaws are usually pegged as the bad guys but in this occasion you can’t help but root for Texas Hippie Coalition. Just as well because I reckon if you were try and shop them to the law the boys would probably just ride you down with their lassoes – and mount your head on a wall.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs