Texas Hippie Coalition – High In The Saddle (2019)

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Texas Hippie Coalition have been around since 2004, releasing their raucous brand of country meets metal.  On their latest, and sixth full length album, High in the Saddle, the band deliver just what we as listeners, have come to expect.

Moonshine opens up the record with the familiar sounds of southern fried riffs, and vocals that are the bastard son of Pantera, ZZ Top and Merle Haggard.  It’s a slow and chugging song that works well.  I actually expected something a little harder to kick us off, but this sets the tone for what is to follow.

Dirty Finger does fire up a bit more.  It’s a little heavier, and the lyrics definitely have more attitude and party vibes.  Bring it Baby follows suit nicely.  Subdued in the verses, building up to huge choruses designed for audience call and response.

Ride or Die is the ballad, driven by piano, but not out of place.  The vocals from Big Dad Ritch are very rough around the edges, which for me, is what makes this work well – adding that “outlaw country” feel.

Tongue Like A Devil is a groovy tune, sure to get your foot tapping.  This has been a pretty decent album thus far.  Far more laid back than previous releases, and while I prefer the Texas Hippie Coalition that we hear on the debut record, this feels like a natural progression.

Why Aren’t You Listening is the first mis-step for me.  It’s not flat out terrible, it just doesn’t stand out against an otherwise pretty strong batch of songs, while Stevie Nicks on the other hand, hooks me right away.  Groovy riffs, possibly the best vocal delivery, and catchy as hell.  An absolute highlight.

Bullseye is the 2019 model of Texas Hippie Coalition at its best.  Leaning further into that outlaw country territory, maybe more than ever before, we’re treated to a great song, and when those guitar solos let rip, it’s glorious.

Tell It From The Ground is a chugging riff-fest, that is hard to ignore.  Certainly the most aggressive moment of the album, making for another highlight.

To finish us off, we have Blue Lights On.  Catchy, anthemic, bouncy and groovy, and a great deal of fun – It’s always good to leave the listener on a high note, and this track doesn’t disappoint.

I did say that I prefer the debut album, but I really do love what this band is becoming with every new release – outlaw country rebels, with a heavy metal edge.  David Allen Coe must love this stuff.

7/10

Review by Shayne McGowan

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