Label: Carved Records
Release date: August 14, 2012
Something wicked this way thrums. That would be the revved up motor that powers the Texas Hippie Coalition. Taking inspiration from the outlaws they grew up on, ZZ Top, Jennings, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Haggard, Kristofferson, Cash, Pantera, Nelson, Black Label Society and Molly Hatchet , THC has paved its own road in red dirt metal.
In sports they often talk about players finding their groove in that magical third year. For THC the groove has always been there, but with the release of the band’s third album, Peacemaker, these southern fried sons of metal have knocked this bitch out of the park.
THC’s elder statesmen, vocalist Big Dad Ritch and bassist John Exall turned it up a notch with Peacemaker, and it started by bringing in some fresh blood in guitarist Wes Wallace and drummer Tim Braun. Both contributed to the songwriting process, with Wallace and Ritch carrying the meat of this beast.
Add into the mix a brilliant producer in Bob Marlette (Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Black Stone Cherry, Shinedown), and it’s easy to hear the Texas Hippie Coalition laid it all out on this record.
Right from the opening track, “Hands Up” the boys are in grip it and rip it mode. Steeped in thick grooves, power riffs, and Ritch’s trademark skull-rattling growl, the reckoning has begun.
The blistering continues on the Wallace penned, “Damn You To Hell” with its rivet-gun riffage and ballsy swagger, this is bound to be a live staple for years.
There’s a rumor that a stripper out of Detroit managed to ride Big Dad Ritch for “8 Seconds”, but that may be an urban legend. Or is it? Nikki, is that you?
The Southern-tinged groove metal attitude continues on the autobiographical anthem, “Outlaw”.
The album’s first single is “Turn It Up” broody, salacious and raucous anthem of arena size proportions.
“Wicked” sounds like a grudge laid to brutal riffs and thunderous rhythms. This is easily another single for the band.
One can hear the Lynyrd Skynyrd fuel on the soulful rocker, “Don’t Come Lookin’” while the red dirt demon rears its horns for “Sex & Drugs & Rock and Roll”. “Paw Paw Hill” turns on that rattlesnake shake, recalling ole Rickey Medlocke from his Blackfoot days.
The album rounds out with the mammoth title cut which defines what red dirt metal is all about; attitude, loyalty, outlaw passion, Texas groove and Southern rock integrity. This is followed by “Think of Me” which pours out like a final shot of Jack, a sad parting ode, with THC showing the softer side of its leathery hide. Amen brothers.
After two fantastic albums to set the ball rolling, Texas Hippie Coalition has set a mean bar for itself with Peacemaker— a barrel chested badass beast of a record that will rattle your teeth and ravage your old lady. Buy it, live it, and as the song says “turn it up louder!”