“SONS OF TEXAS” CD REVIEW HOMETOWN: MCALLEN, TEXAS
RECORD LP: “FORGED BY FORTITUDE”
LABEL: RAZOR & TIE – DROP DATE: 9/22/2017
Mark Morales: Vocals
Mike Villarreal: Drums
Nick Villarreal: Bass
Jon Olivares: Guitar
Jes De Hoyos: Guitar
OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR “BENEATH THE RIVERBED”:
I am not gonna lie y’all. The guys in SONS OF TEXAS have an inherent sound that is like a Texas drawl – if instruments could talk… with words. With unmatched distinction, SONS OF TEXAS give the music fan exactly what they’re looking for: fast, copiously charged energy that takes you away for a bit and jump up and down, feel the tempo and the bass banging through the speakers…all of it. And it’s all present and accounted for in “FORGED WITH FORTITUDE”.
A unique area of Texas that prides itself on community, heritage that is unlike anywhere else in the state and the South Texas Spirit that, hands down, would love to have an itsy bit of it. SONS OF TEXAS individually and collectively can bring it heavy, with grit, with melody; with feelings and experiences that will connect with listeners. And, that is hard to feel with a new band. SONS OF TEXAS have no problems dishing all of this out and making it their own. You’ll find within each track where the song’s energy bends a little – sometimes it’s intriguing and strange (strange is good)…and that’s the uniqueness of SONS OF TEXAS that comes through on “FORGED WITH FORTITUDE”.
Track by track:
BUY IN TO SELL OUT – MARK MORALES has this grit to his voice on this track that is gnarly where it needs to be. It’s all intertwined with the melody and then BAM!! At 1:48 into the song something flies out of it, like the best dodgeball player on the other team just hummed the ball right at you, and as it is traveling towards your face, you don’t dodge this mother f’er – you let it hit you square between the eyes. Dig that cut time and the heavy AF feel of this song! The remainder of the song just echoes the fact that SONS OF TEXAS know how and where to add or subtract in a song that has the listener literally salivating.
*FEED THE NEED – STFU! OMG!
NICK VILLARE’s intro on the bass came through the speakers and I just might as well as slapped me through the speaker like he just beats his bass – of course in a nonviolent way.Y’all this is like rock and roll adderall…I love how the song tracks out & in between bad ass harmonies amid heart-stopping melodies. I poop you not, once the song is over, you’ll look around like “Wait, is there a 12 step program for SONS OF TEXAS? Cuz I’m hooked…”
DOWN IN THE TRENCHES – nice swinging groove with a tempo that is just fast enough to make you wanna dance like Kevin Bacon did in Footloose in the warehouse scene – but you don’t…because it’s 2017 and no one knows what Footloose is. There are some killer elements that make this song tick: love the machine gun drum overlay in and out of the track, love the bass tone – totally floppy and giggly that binds the bass. I adore breaks that come in strong – gives me the goosebumps! Never tire of well played guitar solos either. Wow – the ending is awesome!
*CAST IN STONE – can i get a gawdam?? Alright, where did this vocal come from? Look, this guy has it all – the grit, the range, clarity, growl; all of it. There’s a guitar riff that reaches out and tickles you outta nowhere – that makes it a rock song when you hear those weird riffs plugged in here and there, you know what I mean? The harmonies here are subtle and are similar to a sound of SEVENDUST. The bass, again is ballz. And I think either JON or JES’ guitar tone has gotta be one of the top 5 i’ve heard in years.. Hold the mayo – whatever happens around 3:43 seconds literally broke my spine. It goes on til the end of the song…that just made my day – this is what music is about. I love a good ending that doesn’t quite follow the chain of command, you know what I mean?
BENEATH THE RIVERBED – I have to bend my ear to the speaker to pick up the full gist of what this song is putting down. There is some force that only comes from Texas musicians. It is a guttural and raw and full of blues that just wanna wail a little louder, ya know what i mean? BENEATH THE RIVERBED brings it slow and sweetly, but that’s what is so alarming. Can it stay strong through the whole song? This Texas sound that I swear is dropped in by the ghost of STEVIE RAY VAUGHN, is evident in this track. It’s not just from the guitar – it’s the swagger and attitude. The way that chunk sounding badass guitar swims around the rest of the measures.
EXPEDITION TO PERDITION – MARK takes the intonation really seriously in his vocal on this track. And good for him, because it’s that attention to detail that separate bands. You can literally see the dust bouncing from the inside of the speakers. Punching though with the screams and the melody – brace yourself for the end that really make you want it to be the beginning! (Just start the song over like I did…)
*TURNIN’ THE PAGE – slowing it down at the beginning…is a great a choice because it I want to hear every part of this song. I don’t want to like it at first because I still wanted to rock after the track before…but I want to know what MARK is feeling or talking about. And at the bridge, all want to do is shout hallelujah and slam my fist full of cash down into the offering plate. I can just picture a revival of my friends and fallouts are, where SONS OF TEXAS are snake charmers and we’re all just minutes away from getting bit but the band comes in and saves us!
JADED EYES – OOh I like how the cadence kinda danced at the beginning of this song. Like claymation but in a song…claymation for your ears. There is some unspoken angst and while the song keeps moving you along, the way it makes you bounce a little, it also tries to make you stop and remember something that you’ve longed to forget. I get that feeling listening to the way the guitars and background vocals float around and ignite those big memory wormholes.
WASP WOMAN – if this is a superhero – I don’t wanna run into her. What it is about this song that dredges you through the verse and then literally whispers to you a warning. I’m drawn to that weird ass whisper right before the chorus drops in. I like the solo combo that are in line with the tempo, like even almost. Strong elements in this song – I’d like to see it live, though.
*FORGED BY FORTITUDE – mother of pearl – the intro will seriously kick your ass. I mean did the members say, “why not write a song that sounds like SEVENDUST, SLIPNOT, HELLYEAH, SLAYER, JOHNNY CASH, 50 CENT & KT OSLIN (listen again and you’ll hear it, hand to God) are all playing with us on this song”? This isn’t to say that SOT copy or try to sound like the bands I mentioned. It’s the spirit of metal/rock that is infused in their songwriting. It produces opportunity for this band that other emerging artist do not possess. The diversity of SONS OF TEXAS is dyno-mite!!
SLAM WITH THE LIGHTS ON – this is ear porn and I won’t have anything to do with it. Not one thing…I’ll be right back…gimme about oh, I’d say 6 – 9 minutes… I’m totally kidding! But for real – can you say hot like wasabi? Here’s another sexy song that has that air of SRV with modern pieces and that SONS OF TEXAS ability to bend a measure in almost a dark kind of way that makes me just wanna know a little more…
CHERRI BIRD / MHF Magazine