Sons of Texas
Baptized In The Rio Grande
(Razor & Tie)
It’s true what people say: there ain’t nothing small about Texas! Like the cuisine, the state’s beautiful landscapes, the rich history, and of course the cowboys, the sound that the Sons of Texas has developed is just as memorable. Following in the footsteps of legendary artists, such as ZZ Top, Pantera, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, the quintet successfully combines the genres of hard rock, blues, and heavy metal to create a musical barbeque sauce of mouthwatering, ear pleasing euphonious sound.
Because of their musical ability, one would never guess that this is a relatively new band – members Mark Morales (vocals), Mike Villarreal (drums), Nick Villarreal (bass), Jon Olivares (guitar), and Jes De Hoyos (guitar), have only been playing together for a little over a year. Yet they have already began to amass a loyal fanbase. Furthermore, tracks off of their debut album, Baptized In The Rio Grande, produced by Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, Hatebreed, have already begun to make their way into rotation on various satellite radio stations.
Hailing from the town of McAllen, Texas, Sons of Texas, put the pedal to the metal with the album’s first track, and second single, “Never Burry the Hatchet.” Full of venomous anger and a loaded gun with a bullet at the ready, this is one of the heaviest tracks on the record. Vocally, Morales should be commended for his ability to switch back and forth between melodic tones and well-placed screams. And unlike many other metal and screamo bands, the clarity of the lyrics is never lost in the raw emotion.
The third track, and first single, “Baptized in the Rio Grande” is the band’s breakout hit. This polished radio-ready tune plays it safe and is a driving force of melodic vocals and instrumentals. In many respects, this track is exactly what listeners would expect – an anthem about love and pride for the band’s home state. But besides the deliciously gruff and honey dipped vocals, this tune is also peppered with catchy guitar riffs and a fun standout solo.
Musically, “Nothing King”, “The Vestryman”, “Blameshift” are much more aggressive tracks. They are full of monster fills, impressive guitar work, searing basslines, and raw emotion. These tracks are examples of the band’s successful ability to mix musical genres and further develop their own unique sound.
The rock ballad, “September,” slows things down a bit. This is a nice change from the rest of the tracks on the album as it shows the band’s potential for diversity. Morales’s vocals are the right combination of grit and silky smooth melodies. There is also some notable guitar work that is worth listening to as well.
Sons of Texas is definitely a band to watch out for as they continue to grow as a band and develop and foster their sound. Great things are expected. (Kara Kulpa)