Texas Hippie Coalition – ‘Rollin’’
Big Daddy Ritch – vocals
Randy Cooper – lead guitar
Crawfish – rhythm guitar
John Exall – bass
Ryan Bennett – drums
1.) “Intervention” – This track opens with a very short bass line. The rhythm guitar kicks-in was done using three repeated lead licks. After this lead licks there is a small drum fill. This whole section does not equal up to four measures so it really isn’t an intro. At this point there is a rhythm change for the musical chorus. Big Daddy’s vocals are very reminiscent to those of Zakk Wylde’s (Black Label Society) especially on the vocal accents. Ryan bass drum pattern was done using a double-bass drum rhythm. In between the lyric lines Randy incorporates these little signature lead licks. After the first chorus there is a small snare fill to connect it to the second chorus. Between the sixth and seventh lyric line of the second chorus Big Daddy does a vocal scream that reminded me a lot of how Dave William (former lead vocalist of Drowning Pool) sang on their hit “Bodies” from their freshman release titled ‘Sinner’ released on June 5, 2001. After the second chorus there is a huge musical breakdown section. The guitar riff of this breakdown section was done using whole-notes and half-notes allowing the bass line to bleed through. There are a couple of lyric lines over the top of the end of the breakdown right before the solo. Considering the intensity of the song the lead guitar solo was unusually laid back. There is a small pre-verse in the middle of the solo section. After the solo there is a small repeat of the opening bass line.
2.) “Flawed” – This track opens with a bass/drum line. The rhythm guitar kicks-in with a pick slide. There is a small vocal accent connecting the intro with the musical verse. The band used the same rhythm for the chorus as the one for the musical verse. The only difference is they tweaked the guitar just a little to give it a different feel. After the chorus there is a repeat of the first verse and chorus. The lead guitar solo was heavily influenced by Zakk Wylde. After the solo there is a breakdown section that consisted of just vocals and bass. The coda on this track was bad as hell!!!!
3.) “Rollin’” – The intro to this track opens with a huge drum fill. The rhythm guitar riff of the intro had a very simple feel to it. There is a small bass line connecting the intro with the musical verse. The band used the same rhythm guitar riff for the musical verse as the one for the intro. There is a small musical rest between the fourth and fifth lyric lines. There is a rhythm change for the musical chorus. The lyric lines of the musical chorus had a huge hook attached to them. There is a small bass/drum line breakdown between the second chorus and third verse. Ryan switched his hi-hat rhythm for the third verse. There is a lead guitar solo after the third chorus. As the solo progresses the song speeds up. This song had two back to back lead guitar solos.
4.) “Jesus Freak” –The rhythm guitar riff of this intro and verse was heavily reminiscent of Dimebag Darrell Abbot. The lead vocals of this track reminded me a lot of the way Zakk Wylde sings. There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus. I loved the riff of the chorus!!!! After the first chorus there is an intense musical breakdown that consisted of a bass solo. The solo for this track was amazing! The band speeded the song up through the coda.
5.) “Pissed Off And Mad About It” – This track is the first single taken off of the release. Before I received this release to review I had been hearing a lot of internet buzz about THC. Everyone was pretty much saying the same thing the music is good, the vocals are good, but the lyrics are too repetitive. It doesn’t matter I’m here to say this is one mean ass song!!!!!
6.) “Groupie Girl” – This ballad opens with a very short rhythm guitar arrangement. The band used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the opening intro as the one for the verse. The vocals are very reminiscent to the stuff Zakk Wylde was writing with his first solo project Pride & Glory. The drum line of the musical verse was done with a cross stick (wood block). In fact outside of the cross stick effect the drum line is very close to the drum line Phil Rudd wrote for AC/DC’s hit “You Shook Me All Night Long” from ‘Back In Black. The guys kick-in the distorted guitar for the musical chorus. There is a small drum fill connecting the chorus with the second verse. The lead guitar solo connects the second chorus with the third verse. The lead guitar solo was very reminiscent to the way Allen Collins (formerly of Lynard Skynard) wrote, arranged and played his solos. There is a minor lead guitar solo underneath the lead vocal lines of the last chorus.
7.) “Saddle Sore” – There is a huge drum fill that opens this track. There is a small musical rest that connects the drum fill to the opening verse. There is a musical rest underneath every other lyric line of the verse. Connecting the verses with the choruses there is a small drum fill. Ryan changed the double bass drum pattern for the musical chorus. After the second chorus there is a rhythm arrangement change. This song did not have a lead guitar solo.
8.) “Cocked & Loaded” – This track did not have an intro section. The rhythm guitar riffs matched the lyric lines. There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus. There is a small breakdown section connecting the first chorus with the second verse. The lead guitar solo for this track was huge!!!
9.) “Back From Hell” – This track opens with a simple heavy metal riff. When the band kicks-in Ryan’s drum line consisted of a double bass drum line. The drum line of the verse mainly consisted of tom-tom fills. After the second chorus connecting the chorus to the lead guitar solo there is a breakdown section. Throughout the song this is the only time the rhythm riff changes. The lead guitar solo for this track is over the top of the coda.
10.) “Beg” – The intro to this track consisted of a much laid back electric picking arrangement. The bass was turned up through the intro and almost over shadows the guitar. There is no rhythm change for the musical verse. Right in the middle of the verse there is a music rhythm change. Not long after the music change the band goes back to the original rhythm. There is no rhythm change for the musical chorus. The music change doesn’t happen until the second verse. The lead guitar solo connects the second chorus with the third verse.
‘Rollin’’ is the sophomore release from the self proclaimed “Band Of Outlaws” called The Texas Hippie Coalition. Such an intimidating group that with just one glance and you know they live and breathe their nickname.
The basic blueprint THC’s used for their songwriting consisted of Big Daddy’s vocals & Randy Cooper’s lead guitar licks where very reminiscent to both of Zakk Wylde’s solo bands (Pride & Glory & Black Label Society). While the guitar Crawfish used for the entire session in both style and sound was possessed by the spirit of the late great spirit of Dimebag Darrell Abbott (co-founding member of Pantera, August 20, 1966 – December 8, 2004). Especially on songs like “Pissed Off And Mad About It”. With that being said I don’t want to sound like the band rolled out the blueprints to Zakk’s material and said we’re going to steal this & that. A better explanation is they used that sound as a foundation and build from there.
‘Rollin’’ is a rare gem that will blow your mind. For essential fans of, Pride & Glory, Black Label Society & Pantera with a little Lynard Skynard mixed in. If you’re a die-hard metal fan and trust Blast Magazine’s judgement them you have already opened Amazon up in a new window and ordering 2 copies one for the house and one for the car.