Sons of Texas hit the Royal Grove Friday (2/28) for a night of southern fried party metal. Hailing from the town of McAllen, Texas the band has been making music since 2013. After two albums under their belt, Sons of Texas decided to forge ahead without a label and have been independently recording and releasing music for the last two years. The band is currently touring in support of their latest release an E.P. titled Resurgence. To say it was a “good show” would be the understatement of the year.
The Royal Grove had a stacked bill Friday. In addition to Sons of Texas, the show featured touring band Sunflower Dead and locals Miss Taken, Echo, and Broken Skulls.
Miss Taken was the first band up and they got the people moving! Though these guys were most likely born in the 90s, their sound was a mix of 80s hair metal and power pop, with a nod to newer groups like Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless. The songs were straight forward rockers with shredding guitars and sing-along choruses. I had a lot of fun during their set. Miss Taken has a new album in the works so give them a like on Facebook so you don’t miss it.
Echo was up next. The Lincoln four piece sounded a bit like a slowed down version of Iron Maiden. With members in their 40s and 50s you could tell they‘re probably not looking to book world tours, but that’s ok! I love seeing people following their passion and having fun. Thank you to bands like Echo for proving it’s never too late for rock. You can learn more about Echo on Facebook.
After Echo was the last of the Lincoln locals, Broken Skulls. These guys turned up the heat, but only after serenading the crowd with a little smooth jazz. I know the band was obviously joking because they’re known for their hard rock sound, but the light and jazzy guitars actually sounded pretty cool!
After the jazzy number they pummeled the crowd with blast beats, crunchy guitars, and a good mix of clean and scream vocals. After Broken Skulls the crowd was hungry for more.
The lights went dark as Sunflower Dead took the stage. As the shadowy figures emerged a platform lit up and the rock had begun! I could pick up influences of early Killswitch Engage and maybe even Creed (but with a much harder edge) as the band hit the crowd with their melodic power grooves. Sunflower Dead gave it everything they had over the next 40 minutes and left the people cheering.
After a long day at work and four bands I was pretty beat, but I was still pumped for the final act Sons of Texas!!
I had been hearing about this band for a while, but hadn‘t had the chance to check them out yet. Let me tell you, I’m sorry I waited so long! These guys absolutely destroyed the stage at Royal Grove. As soon as the first song hit I knew there was no chance I‘d be cutting out early. The combination of Nick Villarreal’s slapping bass and Mark Morales’ powerful screams immediately drew me in. Guitarists Jes De Hoyos and Jon Olivarez traded shredding riffs as they jumped from one side of the stage to the other barely stopping to take a breath. Drummer Mike Villarreal kept the grooves flowing with the help of his brother Nick. After catching White Reaper last week at the Slowdown that’s two weeks in a row for bands with a brother drum and bass combo, freaky Friday!
Right from the start Sons of Texas showcased their signature sound of southern power grooves. After a few songs I started to think “These guys sound like Southern Deftones!” The way that Mark’s vocals effortlessly switched from screams to clean really reminded me of Chino. If you’ve followed us for a while you know that is the highest of compliments in my book. But it wasn’t just Mark, the rhythm section of drummer Mike and bassist Nick had an undeniable funk stank that made it impossible to stand still.
Take the song “Lock, Stock, & Barrel“ for example, if this isn’t the ultimate barbecue jam I don’t know what is. This should be the new theme for Kingsford charcoal or A-1 steak sauce at the very least. It makes you want to get a little mud on your tires or throw some steaks on the grill. With the weather getting warmer, I can’t wait to blast it with the windows down! Towards the middle of the set this got a nice pop from the crowd.
Through out the set, Sons of Texas paid homage to their metal forefathers by sneaking in riffs from Gods like Metallica, Pantera, and Judas Priest. At one point they even busted out a verse and chorus of legendary Texas band ZZ Tops’ “Sharp Dressed Man.” I told guitarist Jon after the show it’s such a smart move to play those, because it draws the crowd in with something familiar and next thing you know you’re fully immersed in an original track like “Feed The Need.” I think they should tease a little “Black Betty” next time, but that’s just me.
After completely melting our faces, Sons of Texas met every single fan in the place and didn’t leave until all cds were signed and selfies were taken. I tried not to be a punisher but I did get a picture with Mark.
I can‘t thank Sons of Texas enough for the guest spot and bringing their Texas sized party to Lincoln, Nebraska. Make sure to give them a like on Facebook and Instagram so you don’t miss it the next time they come through!
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