The new TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION CD, Dark Side of Black, is out now on Carved Records. Ten tracks deep, this is the most aggressive record start to finish as any in the THC catalog. I am a big believer in the importance of an opening track (either on a disc or at a live show) to set the tone for the experience and “Come Get It” does not disappoint. Those deep, guttural vocals belong to the one and only Big Dad Ritch, co-founder and undisputed heavyweight champion of the Red Dirt Metal genre. Cord Pool handles all of the guitar duties, Timmy Braun on drums and of course, John Exall, bass guitar, has been there from the beginning also as co-founder of the band.
The second track on the album, “Angel Fall”, begins with some foreboding guitar work by Pool before absolutely exploding into a shower of double-bass ecstasy courtesy of Braun. BDR takes his vocals up a notch with a rapid-fire delivery that I have never experienced on a THC recording. Look for the video for this one on the interwebs near you. This song is pure sonic fury and one of the highlights of the whole thing.
Next up is “Shakin’ Baby” and the Band of Outlaws does not let up here at all. A prodding, heavy, F-Bomb-laden boogie groove inciting the ladies to “get those panties droppin’” I freakin LOVE this song and can’t wait to hear it live. Finally, the tempo slows a bit as BDR goes into storytelling mode on “Knee Deep.” The song explains his relationship with a Twisted Hippie Chick that just happens to be married to a lawman in Tulsa. “Knee deep and half naked, down on the river, smoking all of my THC….”
After this comes “Villain” and the pace picks up considerably. Very dark lyrics accompany this heavy as shit grind of Braun/Exall/ Pool. Every solo by Cord Pool goes perfectly within the framework of each song. If you have never heard of this young gunslinger from east Texas, you will soon. “Into the Wall” is a bit redundant, but still one of my favorites on the record. Perhaps a political statement is being made here and if so, I am on board with this mantra: “There’s gotta be some fucking changes!!!”
Essentially the title track to DSOB, “Dark Side,” is next. BDR admits to having a weakness for the sins of the flesh, but I think we already knew that! The song plods along and with me being more of an up-tempo guy, it isn’t one of my favorites but it is still good with some excellent musicianship on display. Heading down the stretch, we have a very PANTERA-esque tune called “Rise.” There are aggressive vocals accompanied by some time changes in the music that breaks the band’s typical mold for song structure. The lyrics and delivery make this a very likely anthem for live shows.
The longest song in the group’s catalog comes next with “Hit it Again.” Clocking in at 7:17, BDR’s storytelling is again center stage here. Intro’d with some nice acoustic guitar work, this quickly transitions to a buzz saw of distortion and locomotive inspired riffage. With the closer “Gods are Angry”, BDR & Co. give maximum effort, 110% and leave it ALL on the field! A hailstorm of F-bombs yelled at the top of his lungs – RAWWWRRRRR!!!! – this is the perfect ending to a near perfect recording. Dark Side of Black is just what the doctor ordered. Go out and grab a copy and catch TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION on tour now!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Come Get It”, “Angel Fall”, “Shakin’ Baby”, “Into the Wall”, “Hit it Again”, “Gods are Angry”