Ever since I randomly heard “Pissed Off And Mad About It”, I’ve had some time for Texas Hippie Coalition. With their mix of southern rock, groove and good old fashioned metal they’re a band who can genuinely say they have a sound of their own.
High in the Saddle marks their sixth studio outing and though it offers nothing outlandishly new, it’s also by no means simply more of the same. True, you know what you’re getting with a THC album – but what that is, is a decent slab of hard rockin’ entertainment. Said performance opens with Moonshine which you can listen to below, and it’s just chock full of heavy beats and Big Dad Ritch’s trademark bourbon-scarred vocals.
“Dirty Finger” sets a filthy tone with the lyrics kicking straight in: “Let me see your middle finger in the air, wave it around like you just don’t care.” Pure, simple, no-frills rock ‘n’ roll. It’s hardly original, but these guys don’t give a damn. They’re out to grab your attention and this just works. “Bring it Baby” managed to be even more abrasive, but the band tone things down a bit for the closest thing to a ballad I’ve ever heard from then: “Ride Or Die”… and it’s brilliant.
“Tongue Live a Devil” owes more to the sleaze metal bands of the 80s than it does to Pantera, with its groovy licks and simple repeated riff, whereas “Why Aren’t You Listening” brings a much bigger sound. Still melodic and catchy, it’s just all-encompassing and impressive.
Bringing the chug back is the brilliant “Stevie Nicks”. If you’re going to have a song named after you then you’re going to hope it’s decent enough and this really does the rock legend justice. While hardly a Shakespearean ode of deep love, it’s perfect for the former Fleetwood Mac songstress.
“BullsEye” is as country-influenced a track as they come, all about pistols and flying lead. Yee-haw, indeed. Dropping down like a ten ton weight, “Tell It From The Ground” is slow… and… heavy. With the kind of bass rumble that will have heads nodding and a chorus that’ll have you screaming, it’s a cracking song. Rounding things off, though, is “Blue Lights On” which sends the album off with a more up-tempo flurry. This is the kind of track to open a live set, never mind finish off an album.
I don’t know if Texas Hippie Coalition have played the UK yet (I’ve never seen them listed as touring at least) but I bloody hope they get the chance sometimes soon. With this sixth album under their bullet belts they’ve got plenty of material to fill a lengthy set and I’ll be there front and centre rocking my damn cowboy hat off. I’d have to buy one first, but you get what I mean.
High In The Saddle is out on May 31st