July 10, 2015 Texas Hippie Coalition Roll Into Revolution Amityville, NY 7-2-15 w/ Red Sky Mary
Debuting in 2008, Texas Hippie Coalition (THC) have coined their blend of Hard Rock, Metal, outlaw sensibilities, and Southern Rock Red Dirt Metal; a take on Red Dirt Country, which references hard edged Country music emanating from North Texas. Having released four studio records to date, including their most recent in 2014, Ride On, Texas Hippie Coalition has built quite a following all their own. Spending 2014 on Rockstar Energy’s Mayhem Festival opened even more eyes to what the Country boys have to offer, and now they continue their touring ways into 2015 through August. Featuring James Richard “Big Dad Rich” Anderson on vocals, John Exall (bass), Cord Pool (guitars), and Timmy Braun (drums), Texas Hippie Coalition brought their rough and tough brand of Country Metal to Revolution Bar & Music Hall in Amityville on Thursday July 2nd with direct support from Red Sky Mary, as well as locals Symptom 7, Logan’s Room, and One Day Waiting.
Before Texas Hippie Coalition took the stage, the crowd was treated to powerful music from four openers including the aforementioned locals, Symptom 7, Logan’s Room, and One Day Waiting, prior to national supporters Red Sky Mary. The four-piece band Logan’s Room from Long Beach was able to meld driving Hard Rock with Punk sensibilities for a high energy set. Heavy on distortion, Symptom 7 performed a set teeming with classic Heavy Metal and Grunge leanings. Then Hudson Valley’s One Day Waiting blended Nu-Metal with Death Metal for a unique, forceful set.
Then came Red Sky Mary out of Portsmouth, NH. Signed to Carved Records, their new album River Child is out now and many are calling it one that every single song is worth listening to. Together now for five years, the band consists of Sam Vlasich (vocals), Tom Boisse (guitar), Gary Boisse (bass), and Barrett Goeman (drums). Clearly weaned on Classic Rock, the four-piece did not disappoint with their booming Hard Rock accented with strong melodies and superb harmonies on tracks like new single “Howl.” Their energy and professional sound will no doubt soon launch them into Rock stardom.
Announcing their presence at full tilt, Texas Hippie Coalition opened the show with “Hands Up” as Anderson bellowed, “I’m the king of Texas/For those that don’t know me/We’re the band of outlaws/Call us THC.” Growling over a simple, effective Heavy Metal riff, Anderson sang about “Waylon Whiskey” and “Willie Weed” as he urged the crowd to get “Their hands up and reach for the sky.” The stage was set for a night of potent, dynamic music. The band then switched gears to a groovy number entitled “Monster in Me.” Opening with a funky bassline from Exall, followed by screeching guitars, the song settled down to a mid-paced, beefy tune with Anderson sounding like a crazed preacher.
Channeling one of their biggest influences, Pantera, “El Diablo Rojo” was an absolute master stroke of veracious Heavy Metal. A compact riff led the charge, complemented by swift, pounding drums and vocals teetering on guttural. The crowd responded in kind with intense head banging. A spirited, twangy riff opened “Fire in the Hole” as the band, for the first time, put their Country influences on display. Pool laid down a wah-wah laced solo, continuously climbing the ladder before stopping for an atmospheric break before an explosive outro.
From Ride On, “Bottom of the Bottle” found the band taking a crack, expertly, at a power ballad. All of the elements were present: mournful lyrics, looping guitars, and simple, clean drumming. The song continued to escalate in intensity before an exuberant solo and an emotionally charged vocal closed it out. The anthematic “Ride On” displayed the band’s versatility as they sounded like the best of early ’70s Hard Rock in the same vein as Grand Funk Railroad, Deep Purple, and Free. Pool’s guitar oozed a tone reminiscent of Leslie West’s best work with Mountain and Exall’s counterpunches were on point throughout as Braun pummeled the bass drum with a leaden foot.
“Outlaw” hinted at the Blues at the outset, but quickly took off in a classic ’80s stop and go riff. The ultra-catchy chorus had the crowd drowning out Anderson and his booming, gruff voice. “Troublesome Times” was a schizophrenic duel between dark Heavy Metal and, for this band, mellow Rock-n- Roll. The choruses were delivered in a downright gentle manner while the they roared with a burning fervor matched by loads of power chords. This was a superb testament to the band’s chops and range.
Set closers “Don’t Come Lookin’” and “Pissed Off and Mad About It” were optimal. “Don’t Come Lookin’” was scorching Country Rock. Gruff vocals and Southern-tinged guitars were the foundation for a tune that eventually took off into all out Heavy Metal. “Pissed Off and Mad About It” from the band’s 2008 debut Pride of Texas was pure, no-holds-barred Heavy Metal. There were no dalliances of Country, Blues, or even Rock-n-Roll. From the opening all the way to the last note, it was one hundred percent aggression. There were no breaks, no lyrics that did not sound like they were coming from the depths of hell, and the bands swagger offered no apologies.
For fans of Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, classic Heavy Metal, Blues-based Rock, Southern Rock, and Country, Texas Hippie Coalition is a cannot miss act. There return to Revolution Bar & Music Hall was a welcomed one and one that helped kick off the Independence Day holiday weekend early. There is no doubt Texas Hippie Coalition always delivers a rave up echoing backwoods roadhouses of yesteryear and does so with energy to spare.