"Rebel Meets Rebel" (Big Vin Records; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The two titular rebels here are legendary country western star David Allen Coe and the Cowboys From Hell (Dimebag Darrell, Vinnie Paul and Rex Brown). Yeah, I know. You wouldn't think any country western star was up to rocking with Pantera, but Coe's reputation proceeds him. This guy ain't no Garth Brooks or Travis Tritt.

Recorded over the course of four years (1999 - 2003), "Rebel Meets Rebel" is a melding of heavy metal rock'n'roll and Coe's own brand of outlaw country western. Although Coe's voice doesn't exactly fit in with the brilliant metal riffing of Dimebag, it doesn't exactly not fit in, either. It's a bizarre hybrid that often sounds like two completely different styles of music twisted together into something new. Sometimes it clicks completely; sometimes it doesn't. Nonetheless, it's always worth a listen.

What's perhaps most surprising about this record isn't the fact that David Allen Coe and Pantera merge so well, but rather that a heavier record didn't come from the combination. Don't get me wrong, "Rebel Meets Rebel" is a heavy record, but it's not as heavy as most of Pantera's later stuff. 

Interestingly, the final track, "N.Y.C. Streets," seems to be an ode to the music life in general and heavy metal in particular (with its mentions of Pantera, Motorhead, and more) ... but it's the straightest track in the collection, sounding more like a cut from a David Allen Coe record than Pantera. Still, it's a groovy, simmering rocker that will hold your attention throughout, thanks to Dimebag's smoldering lead in the background.

Fans of either of the rebels herein will find something to like about this record, as well fans of Southern rock along the lines of Molly Hatchet, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the like. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2006  by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Jun 2024 13:03:50 -0400.