The Lone Star State and its Southern sisters have given birth to the grittiest hard rock and heavy metal musicians to ever trample on American soil. Following in the footsteps of such legendary rock and blues musicians as Black Label Society and Stevie Ray Vaughan, McAllen, Texas, quintet Sons Of Texas have emerged onto the music scene in full force after recently signing with Razor & Tie, which released their brand new album Baptized In The Rio Grande.
The album’s unique energy is infectious from front to back, starting with “Never Bury The Hatchet,” where guitarists Jes De Hoyos and Jon Olivares attack the senses with a polished take on some signature Zakk Wylde moves. Though De Hoyos confesses this is one of his favorite songs to play, asking him to pick a favorite track is like “asking a mother to pick a favorite child.”
While songs like “Never Bury The Hatchet” and “Nothing King” pack the heavy, groove-laden punches that all Pantera fans crave, others like “The Vestryman” and “Texas Trim” have the toe-tapping, body-swaying swing of a Stevie Ray Vaughan rhythm. The latter is as sexual in lyrical content as it is in musical substance, something that will be humorously familiar to the fans who first knew this band simply as “Texas.”
Upon listening to the title track, you may come to realize that—more than whiskey, women or Dimebag Darrell—the band’s core influence is their motherland. Of course, this has been a running theme through metal for a long time: What started in the U.S. as East Coast vs. West Coast thrash distributed itself to Florida death metal, Los Angeles glam metal and most recently and relevantly the New Orleans scene. When we question De Hoyos about the subject of geographical metal classification in the States, specifically regarding his choice to surround this album with a Texas-centric theme, his answer surprised us. “It isn’t hard to be happy in life if you are first proud of where you come from,” says De Hoyos. “I see no shame in us writing about and emphasizing it. It’s not all happy and proud, though; I mean come on, we are basically playing blues and metal all day, the saddest and angriest genres around. But yes, Texas is the core of our identity—of who we are and what we do—and I see no shame in that at all.”