Texas Hippie Coalition – High In The Saddle

It’s not really debatable at this point that Texas Hippie Coalition have a formula that, nine times out of ten, they stick to. They call it red dirt metal, and it’s crunching, chugging, raw riffs, growling vocals and subject matter typically surrounding drinking, women, shooting, or being a cowboy. And somehow, six albums in, it still kinda works, here more so than before.

Opener and single ‘Moonshine‘ is definitive THC style. The riff is good, the vocals are gruff, and it isn’t really catchy, but it’s memorable.

Dirty Finger‘ is certainly a better track at times, chugging almost punk guitars leading the verses into a somewhat anticlimactic chorus. The lyrics here are more blatant and less thought out, but that’s how THC have always been.

Bring It Baby‘ throws the THC rulebook out a little, not having the verses led by a chugging riff, adding in some slightly deeper lyrics, and putting Big Dad Ritch at the edge of screaming vocals in the chorus. It’s certainly a highlight, and one of a few examples of the band changing their trademark up a little.

Ride Or Die‘ adds some keys and strings, slowing the pace, making a beautiful track (it’s basically a red neck love song), while ‘BullsEye‘ carries a few country vibes, THC coming close to a summer anthem. It’s certainly catchy, that’s for sure.

Why Aren’t You Listening?‘ has a poppy vibe to it, rarely heard in this band, and it works very well. The chorus is powerful and the track is memorable. Definitely one I’ll come back to.

Tracks like ‘Tongue Like A Devil‘ and ‘Stevie Nicks‘ bring us back to that traditional THC vibe, with a the former having a minor addition of classic rock influence, and closer ‘Blue Lights On‘ is basically Texas Hippie‘s ‘Kickstart My Heart‘ (minus the drugs).

Tell It From The Ground‘ is riff led with some more thoughtful lyrics, sung at times with less venom, then later with extra venom. This one is a personal favourite, for sure.

Overall, THC have delivered the goods expected, but they’ve also sent along some freebies that kindly remind everyone why they go to these guys for their riff laden, hard-hitting metal instead of shopping somewhere else.