Southern metal’s strength is its ability to branch out while still keeping a strong sense of place. While bands like Hellyeah are wedded to fairly traditional roots, a wave of stoner rockers are taking the Bible Belt and its surrounding areas into a territory that is less about Stetsons and more about spliffs and pummelling riffs.
Texas Hippie Coalition claim to have invented a new sound, Red Dirt Metal, which is all about classic Southern rock and Texas power grooves. To be fair, there’s a bit of straddling going on. Imagine Down without the sludge credentials, throw in a bit of ZZ Top swagger, a bucket load of BLS and, well, you get the idea.
But essentially the vibe on Peacemaker is about grabbing a bottle of Jack and reaping havoc (see Outlaw opening bar: ‘I’m like a hurricane a-comin, beh-beh’) in the most predictable but heartwarmingly, er, redneck way. Despite their claims, they’re not doing anything new but you could stick a lot worse on your player when it’s time to crack open a fresh one.