April 15, 2014 Texas Hippie Coalition & Anti-Mortem Bring Southern Comfort to New York 4-8-14
The “Band of Outlaws”, aka Texas Hippie Coalition (THC), strolled into the small, quaint village of Amityville, NY on Tuesday April 8, 2014; bringing their southern-fried brand of metal to the north. Also along for the ride were newcomers Anti-Mortem representing Oklahoma’s finest in hard rock and groove metal. Both bands have something to prove on this tour with the Hippies preparing for their summer-long excursion on the Rockstar Mayhem Festival this year, and the lads in Anti-Mortem having an album due out the end of the month via Nuclear Blast Records.
Anti-Mortem broke the ice by bringing their head-banging and hair-shaking riffs from their opening song. Performing a selection of songs from their forthcoming debut album, New Southern, it is obvious that Anti-Mortem’s roots and influences are derived from no other than the quintessential southern metal band Pantera. It is admirable that these gents offer a blend of groove metal and hard rock rather than following the current trend in young bands towards metalcore and deathcore. Rather than playing up to a market, they are sticking to what they love, grew up on, and are channeling it well. Lead vocalist Larado Romo often sounds like a much younger Phil Anselmo, balancing harmony and ferocity in his vocals while playfully teasing the crowd between songs. After a solid forty minutes, the boys had warmed up the intimate crowd in anticipation for the headliners to do their thing.
Texas Hippie Coalition have been making noise for some time now, and have managed to secure a solid following outside of the southern states. While touring with the likes of Eve to Adam, Danzig, Kill Devil Hill and more, in the past few years they have found an ever-expanding horde of fans amongst bikers, kids, casual rock fans, and old and young metalheads alike. Only two original members remain in the coalition; vocalist “Big Daddy” Rich and bassist John Exall; which has not seemed to dwindle their support or popularity at all. The core of the band is rounded out by two relatively new members, Cord Pool and Gunner Molton on guitar and drums respectively. It is interesting to see the four piece perform where half of the band is decades apart from the other, but the chemistry is clearly ageless as demonstrated by their set opener “Hands Up”. “Big Daddy” definitely knows how to work a crowd, interspersing back stories between songs and working his southern charm as a solid, charismatic front man. The rest of the band was in good spirits, laughing and playing off of their vocalist’s good humor as they move from one number to the next. The band blasted through a dozen songs including “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”, “Turn it Up”, and “Damn You to Hell” before closing with the notorious jam “Pissed Off and Mad About It”. Before leaving the stage, the band expressed their gratitude to the fans and took a group bow ala Motley Crue.
Both Texas Hippie Coalition and Anti-Mortem made themselves available to fans outside the venue while packing up gear in the parking lot, showing their dedication and devotion to the trade and their supporters. Do yourself a favor and check out Anti-Mortem’s new album dropping in a few weeks, and/or make it a point to stop by a local date of the Mayhem Fest to see what Texas Hippie Coalition has to offer this summer.Review written by Mr. G.