Two of the hottest search terms on Google at present (June 23) are two Texas heavy metal bands centered in Dallas: Free Reign and Texas Hippie Coalition. Free Reign just signed a music deal and two of their tunes can be found on their MySpace page. Texas Hippie Coalition, which also goes by the name THC, has produced a video that is getting a little play called “Pissed Off and Mad About It.” One thing is certain: The hard rock coming out of Texas sure doesn’t sound like ZZ Top anymore.
Free Reign has a hook Texas Hippie Coalition does not (although their musical hooks are good enough and their lead singer is big enough to be a Dallas Cowboys linemen — or whatever he wants to be). Three of the guys in Free Reign are Dallas Cowboys offensive linemen. As in “they’re on the team” Dallas Cowboys offensive linemen who just so happen to be able to pound some drums and make guitars scream — melodically. Hence also the fact that they have to take a hiatus after playing at the House of Blues in Dalas on June 27. The ‘Boys have only been together since March and are billing themselves as the “heavier than metal” band due to the fact that they’re huge human beings (just guessing). Regardless of whether it’s the sales factor of being Dallas Cowboys or that they’re pretty decent music makers, Free Reign just recently signed a worldwide deal with Riot Entertainment.
Made up of Dallas Cowboys linemen Marc Colombo on lead singer/guitarist, Leonard “Bigg” Davis on bass, Cory “Bam Bam” Procter on the drums, and Davis’ high school buddy Justin Chapman on lead guitar, Free Reign might just get the Dallas Cowboys off to a rip-roaring start this season. Too bad the NFL doesn’t award points for loudness.
You can find Free Reign music on their MySpace page and on YouTube videos.
But just as Free Reign starts suiting up for the Dallas Cowboys’ football season, perhaps Texas Hippie Coalition can slide in and grab some the Dallas music thunder. This Texas quintet that originated out of the Red River valley have labeled their heavy style of southern metal Red Dirt Metal and have a 10-song CD that has become popular with the military. In fact, according to the band’s bio, the song “Crawlin'” is played over bullhorns in Fallujah, Iraq, each morning before the daily patrol convoy heads out.
But the video “Pissed Off and Mad About It” is rigid in-your-ear ear metal with a kind of Drowning Pool lyricism (Drowning Pool performed the hit “Bodies”) and a southern accent reminiscent of Molly Hatchet. Guitarist, Randy Cooper, simply tears it up on lead. There is also a bit of Disturbed at the end of the song. Not quite the monkey barks of David Draiman but still…
Music of the Texas Hippie Coalition (THC) can be found on MySpace and on YouTube.
Both bands have a good, melodic sound, hard driven and honest. Although Free Reign will no doubt use their Dallas Cowboys affiliation for a sales hook, they don’t need. And the Texas Hippie Coalition don’t need anything other than their music as a hook, either.