Rebel Meets Rebel Rebel Meets Rebel

It took years but the cooperative effort that is Rebel Meets Rebel finally sees the light of day. Recorded between 1999 and 2003, the album finds country bandit David Allan Coe fronting metal behemoths Pantera (guitarist Dimebag Darrell, drummer Vinnie Paul and bassist Rex Brown — credited here as the Cowboys from Hell) in a country-meets-metal hoedown. Hardly worth the hoopla it has garnered, musically it’s sturdy thanks to the proven abilities of the Cowboys, Rebel Meets Rebel could have been the final Pantera album in all of its chunky rhythm, pick-sliding, staccato-thunder glory. It’s just too bad that this collaboration finds Coe glorifying the rock’n’roll lifestyle in rants about how cowboys are bigger junkies than rockers, his need for one night stands and generally barking about how "weird” the people on New York streets are. He obviously doesn’t own a mirror. Which is not to call him the weak point; it’s just that the whole affair feels underdeveloped, like it should be dubbed a well-recorded jam session, not an official album. The air of expectation surrounding it can’t help but expedite the deflation, especially given that the whole country-meets-metal concept is hardly uncharted territory. Even Coe’s own "we did it first” claim garners a big, "Who cares?” First doesn’t mean best… at least not here. (Dine Alone)