Sons Of Texas – Baptized In The Rio Grande Album Review


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First things first – I owe you a bit of an apology. That’s because I actually started to write this review ages ago, but I got distracted by something else. I put it to one side to work on a bit later and then, well, kinda forgot about it. And then weeks passed… And I also feel guilty because as a result of my forgetfulness, you may not have had the chance to hear about an extremely impressive debut album from this five piece outfit from McAllen, Texas.

Consisting of Mark Morales (vocals) Mike Villarreal (drums) Nick Villarreal (bass) Jon Olivarez (rhythm guitar) and Jes De Hoyos (lead guitar), Sons Of Texas released ‘Baptized in the Rio Grande’ in the US back in March, then three weeks ago it was released here in the UK.

Having read a little about the music scene in the band’s hometown where metal core bands, blues-rock bands and straight up rock ‘n’ roll bands routinely swap members and share bills, the fact that ‘Baptized In The Rio Grande’ has several different flavours of rock music running through it, makes a lot of sense.


Sons Of Texas

The first there tracks are a case in point. Opening song ‘Never Bury The Hatchet’ explodes into life with pounding double bass drums and singer Mark Morales in full-on shouty metal mode. This is probably the heaviest of all 11 tracks and is a helluva way for any band to say howdy! Next up is the more conventional heavy-rock ‘Pull It and Fire’ and for me this song has one of the best hooks on the album. Track three sees the band in radio friendly southern-rock territory with the fantastic title track ‘Baptized in the Rio Grande’. Three songs, three slightly different vibes.

As you get deeper into the album there are other properly good tracks such as the anthemic ‘Blameshift’, ‘Drag The Blade’ and the superb ballad ‘September’. And as you get further into the album you can’t help but be impressed by the depth and scope of the band’s songwriting. You’d almost forgive the band if they had decided to release a slightly safe, one dimensional debut album. This is anything but, and it’s all the better for it.

There’s plenty about ‘Baptized in the Rio Grande’ to like. It’s such an accomplished collection of songs. So much so that it’s hard to believe that Sons Of Texas have only been together for a couple of years and this is their first album. We’ll be keeping our ear to the ground for any news regarding a UK tour, because I get the feeling Sons Of Texas could be absolutely awesome live. In the meantime, check out the video to title track ‘Baptized in the Rio Grande’ below. Then go buy the album!

Track Listing

01  Never Bury the Hatchet
02  Pull It and Fire
03  Baptized in the Rio Grande
04  Nothing King
05  The Vestryman
06  Blameshift
07  Breathing Through My Wounds
08  Morals of the Helpless Kind
09  Drag the Blade
10 September
11  Texas Trim

You can connect with Sons Of Texas on Facebook HERE