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Texas Taliban – Runs on Hate Award winner

Texas Taliban
Runs on Hate
by Leanne Evans at 10 June 2021, 2:53 PM

Since 2020, the brutality of Texan five-piece, TEXAS TALIBAN, has existed to aurally maim and corporeally impale. Hailing from El Paso, the aggressive quintet derives from some of the best local Underground bands of the Texan scene, merging their punishing talents, delving deep into the pits of thrash, groove and hardcore, to meld their stifling sound and innate passion to create an outfit that serves to sonically shred the shit out of you. Delighting with hefty helpings of breakneck riffs, drum lines that ravish and savage vocals that maul, TEXAS TALIBAN’s debut EP, “Runs on Hate”, executes the tantalizing and unnerving, whilst leaving you stunned like a rabbit in the headlights, but still begging for more.

The title-track, “Runs on Hate”, fittingly unfurls with an unsettling bass line, quickly driving up to a hasty headiness, with guitars that weave through spitefully spitted vocals, all enhanced with perfectly timed intermittent moments of double kick drums that blast the rage of this track through as instantly as an adrenaline shot. The mercurial monster, “Expect No Mercy”, is unsparing, with a masterful bass line that splits straight through from the get-go. The tempo momentarily lures with entice, bubbling away, brewing and building up like a rocket ready to take off… and then BAM! TEXAS TALIBAN launch a jaundiced attack, pure rage expelling and convulsing, grooves that pulsate with an embittered grind, with leads that have you hooked, riffs that cranially crush, all leading you to eat out of the hands of these brilliant barbarians. Sincerely, the vocally apoplectic onslaught would leave your face looking like a melted trainer if you were up, close and personal with the spewing venomous delivery from Chris.

A couple of tracks in, and the impurity of TEXAS TALIBAN’s causticity burns, coursing through every aspect of “Runs on Hate”. These guys are all piss-boiling rage, channelled with as much precision, as they exert ferocity, with some subtle, but familiar, sounds from established contemporary bands, away from thrash familiarity and a groove metal vibe, but nonetheless, still executing unhallowed retribution. In your mind’s eye, visualise KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, LAMB OF GOD and PANTERA (metaphorically) mating and creating a child. That kid is TEXAS TALIBAN; boy, it’s a dangerously feral offspring and-a-half!

Tracks like “Supremacy” perfectly demonstrate TEXAS TALIBAN’s antagonistic and rambunctious stance, with a PANTERA “Piss” feel, with the rhythm section driving itself through you, contracting and contorting and riffs that riiiiip. The last section of the EP still shows TEXAS TALIBAN offer a consistent brutal assault with blistering leads and bass lines that bury deep in the bowels of the earth, as seen in the likes of “Emerica”, which verges on near-guttural vocals and takes a strident hardcore twist, with vociferous lyrics aplenty. The energy is boundless and intoxicating, every piece of wrath wrapping itself around you, asphyxiating, like a noose around your neck; it’s absolutely to DIE for! The finale of “Runs on Hate”, comes in the form of the rather beauteous quality of “Tu Rey Muerto” (loosely translated as “Your Dead King”), which presents with a haunting, and intoxicating, Hispanic flavour acoustic intro that really sets the tone for something a little more sombre, but with spice. The KILLSWITCH ENGAGE tone pulls through most on this track (listen to it and you’ll see what I mean), but without imitation, and the sheer rage shatters throughout, yet maintains emotive melody. It creates a poignancy, even through all that hate and angst, that you can’t shake off; a truly magnificent end to a superb release.

Everything on TEXAS TALIBAN’s EP is eloquently hateful, cleverly composed and designed to pack a punch, hitting you where it hurts. Augmented by the band’s ingenious blend of thrash, groove and hardcore, TEXAS TALIBAN create a stylistic that is simply irresistible and one that buries deep in the skin, but for all the right reasons. “Runs on Hate” is a clean production, with great cuts, and riffs that will penetrate your brain for days.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Runs on Hate
2. Expect No Mercy
3. Supremacy
4. Emerica
5. Tu Rey Muerto
Chris Kidwell – Vocals
Erich King – Lead Guitar
Hexx Lee – Guitar
Crystal Lopez – Bass
Ramsey Speed – Drums
Record Label: Pavement Entertainment


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