Being from the great state of Kentucky, and having visited the South very often during my life, I am no stranger to country. And I am certainly no stranger to heavy metal *bangs head like an idiot*. Outlaw country, particularly, is one of my favorite "hick genres" to listen to, among others (Bluegrass, anyone?). So, suffice to say a few years back when I read in Guitar World
that 3/4ths of Pantera (minus the constantly doped and douched Phil Anselmo) were working on a collaboration with outlaw country star David Allan Coe, I was very interested. I have to admit, though, I was not expecting what I was about to hear when I bought this album (released after Dimebag Darrell's death).
Let me say for a minute, that I really love outlaw country. It has nothing to do with the region I live in, the music is great, and the attitude is just balls out, like most metal. Listening to the "Hanks" (Williams, Jr. and Williams III) always brings joy to my ears. Coe is also one of my favorite badasses. The guy, as you will learn by listening to this album, is addicted to gambling, weed, booze, and pus
sy, among other things. So it's no surprise after all, that he would do an album with the brothers Abbot and Rex Brown. Now, whether the music would be good or not was yet to be determined.
Rebel Meets Rebel
is an interesting blend of southern rock, metal, country, blues, and what I like to call "buttrock". It is, as explained by Vinnie Paul in the insert "not metal and not country, just a get-together of Country-Metal minds". Basically the concept of Rebel Meets Rebel
is to drink lots of booze, spend lots of money, smoke some weed, and jam out and have a great time. The music produced reflects that very well. It is no secret that Pantera an lay down some damn good grooves. There's all that on this album and so much more.
While nothing technically amazing, the music is satisfyingly good. There are the usual grooves, as displayed in songs such as Nothin' To Lose
and Get Outta My Life
(featuring metal enthusiast and country outlaw Hank Williams III), and Time
, while countrified licks and riffs dominate Rebel Meets Rebel
and Cowboys Do More Dope
. Dimebag's Van Halen influence is also shown in some licks, as heard in Heartworn Highway
Let me just say that Coe's lyrics, while sometimes cheesy as hell (Cherokee Cry
, the improvised N.Y.C Streets
), are great. I find myself singing along to this album many times over. Maybe it's the hick in me, but lines like "A man with nothing ain't got nothin' to lose
" and "If you want wedding rings to put on your hands, don't look at me I'm into one night stands
" are infectious. Many of these songs are infectious, and when they don't groove or make you bang your head and say "yeah!" (or "woo!" depending on which Southern State you're from) they are great to chill to. Pop open a beer and listen to Heartworn Highway
. Then scrog to it, because it's just such a boneworthy song.
Dimebag's guitar tone on this album, as usual, is solid. His solos are fluid, his chugging riffs are not sloppy at all. The man had chops, even if you ARE a Pantera hater you cannot deny that. Dimebag also knows how to make such a simple solo (Cherokee Cry
) send chills down your spine and laid back solos like the one in No Compromise
are sure to inspire many a young guitarist to pick up their guitars and school themselves in the Art of Shredding
(yeah, you like that play on words, dontcha!). His instrumental acoustic jam [/b]Panfilo[/b] is also a nice surprise, a good spanish/western flavored interlude.
Rex Brown proves once again that he's a badass on bass. His lines under Dimebag's riffing, much like earlier Pantera, seperate him from many bass players; rather than playing the bass like a second guitar, he provides his own voice in the music. Songs like Nothin' To Lose
show his importance in the music, holding his own while Dimebag and Vinnie jam away.
Vinnie Paul, to me, is the king of laying down kickass grooves, and that is where the importance of his role comes in on Rebel Meets Rebel
. The breakdown at the end of Nothin' To Lose
and One Night Stands
shows today's hardcore wannabes how it's done, while his "bang, crash!" style of drumming keeps songs such as Get Outta My Life
groovin'. The drumming is nothing too special, but it fits the music perfectly overall.
The album, however, does have its weaknesses. Songs like Arizona Rivers
tend to drag on a bit and make you want to skip the track. It kind of interrupts the flow from the previous song, One Night Stands
and the next song, the groovalicious Get Outta My Life
. The improvisational jam at the end of Rebel Meets Rebel
is a bit sub-par, but it is pretty cool to hear the "magic" of Dimebag and Coe jamming together on the spot.
Overall, if you are looking for a heavy, crushing metal album, Rebel Meets Rebel
is not that album. However, it does not lack in that department. Rebel Meets Rebel
is just a good, heavy, catchy record. It's a shame that Dime died, I would not mind hearing a Rebel Meets Rebel II
Let's hear it for Booze, Blunts, Bitches and Bars!
/redneck speech over
-heavy grooves in many songs
-Diverse, sometimes surprising range of musicianship
-Catchy, infectious vocals courtesy of David Allan Coe
-Sometimes cheesy thanks to D.A.C's outlaw background
-Some songs drag on and don't really fit
-The album's only 12 songs long, let's hear some more!
Get Outta My Life
Nothin' To Lose
Cowboys Do More Dope