The Name Lives On

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Hell Hounds
02. I Come From The Dirt
03. Built For The Road
04. Scream
05. Hard Habit
06. Believe
07. License To Kill
08. Keep My Name Out Of Your Mouth
09. I Teach Angels To Fly
10. The Name Lives On

It seems as if every county artist tries to inject rock into their sound these days, but TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION was blending heavy music with a Southern twang well before it was trendy. The Denison, Texas-based band presents a Southern rock-influenced kind of music that resembles a super-fun mix of hard rock, punk, country and metal.

TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION got their start in the 2000s and released their first studio album, "Pride of Texas", in 2008. Over the years, the band's sound has matured and rounded out, but their core of making country-metal, which they lovingly call "red dirt metal", is still there.

The band's new album, "The Name Lives On", is jam-packed with unabashed, dirty, groovy party-rock. It's the kind of album meant to be cranked while sitting on the porch on a hot summer day, drinking moonshine and hanging with friends. Producer Bob Marlette, known for his work with fellow Southern rockers BLACK STONE CHERRY and shock rocker ROB ZOMBIE, oversaw this album, and was a good choice, as their sound perfectly fits his wheelhouse.

The album's first single, "Hell Hounds", is a meaty, in-your-face rocker with massive riffs, gutting rhythms and frontman Big Dad Ritch's thick vocals. Think early DROWNING POOL, but amped up a lot. Slippery guitar solos are sprinkled throughout the song, giving it an extra boost.

Another highlight off the set is "Built for the Road", a rowdy, rollicking country anthem that sounds like a mix between AC/DC and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. There's variety on there, too as "Scream" is a straight-ahead rocker with little twang and a simple chorus, and "Believe" is a laid-back classic rocker that could have fit on rock radio in the '70s.

Those looking for heavy will find it on "I Came From The Dirt" and "Keep My Name Out of Your Mouth", which are the heaviest and angsty-est songs on the record. Then, just when you think TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION can't go soft, they pull out the final two tracks on the album, "I Teach Angels How to Fly" and "The Name Lives On", with soft guitars and Big Dad Ritch's somewhat vulnerable, emotion-drenched vocals.

"The Name Lives On" is a gritty, down-home and refreshing listen. There's something downright charming about a set of songs with so much passion and raw appeal. TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION truly have their own brand of music and style. That's something that makes them stand apart and should going forward.

Author: Anne Erickson
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