When most people think of the Lone Star State’s music, they typically imagine a bunch of singing Cowboys around a campfire, or a smoke-filled bar with sawdust on the floor and some sappy Country song on the jukebox. And while it holds true that Texas remains home to a ton of great Country music, it also boasts some of the most iconic rock/metal bands in history… ZZ Top, Steve Ray Vaughn and Pantera are all Texas born and bred! In this article we feature five Lone Star State groups that, while not national acts, have the talent to be headliners. These are five must-hear underground Rock and Metal bands from East Texas!

01. Blacktop Mojo (Palestine, TX | Hard Rock)

– Hailing from Palestine, TX, Blacktop Mojo has only been around since 2012 but don’t let their lack of experience fool you. These guys know how to burn down a stage with hot-ass rock music. Their sound has been compared to the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Audioslave and Shinedown, but, it was said best when somebody noted: “Blacktop Mojo would be the love child of Soundgarden and Lynyrd Skynyrd.” Their music can be hard and heavy yet soulful, with the listener not only hearing their tunes, but feeling the songs’ meaning. Their first album, I Am, dropped in 2014 and with it they have garnered many adoring fans. They are currently in-studio with legendary Muscle Shoals producer Jimmy Johnson working on their sophomore album. The first single, which dropped April 8th, is entitled “Where the Wind Blows.”


02. Rockett Queen (Tyler, TX | Rock)

– Rockett Queen is a Tyler, TX hard rock quartet which formed in 2003 and have been compared to Papa Roach, Nickleback and Seether. Their first helping of tunes was called Too Rock for Radio and, early on, they were labeled as the “Best unsigned band in America” and subsequently won a contest which triggered their hit single “The Next Big Thing” to be featured on the “John Tucker Must Die” movie soundtrack. The band has a huge following in Japan and at this time are on the second leg of former Creed frontman Scott Stapp’s “Proof of Life” tour. Their 2011 EP Goodnight California produced yet another hit single in “I Hate You”.


03. Hostile (Royse City, TX | Heavy Metal)

– Not to be confused with the Hostile from California, or the UK’s Hostile, Royse City, TX’s Hostile originally formed in 2008 as a hair metal tribute band. Listening to the guys now, you’d never even think they knew anything other than sheer hypnotic heavy metal. With two vocalists and super-tight musicianship the progressive metal these guys peddle will melt off your face! Their EP Hypnotic Regression is severely wicked and if you’re at all a thrash metal guy or gal, you have to check out Hostile! Their song “Psycho” is a great example of what they’re all about.


04. Feel Never Real (Dallas–Fort Worth, TX | Rock)

– Formed in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX area in 2004, this rock band has now been doing their thing for over ten years. Their sound has been labeled as edgy, melodic and powerful and they have been likened to acts such as Volbeat, Seether and Shinedown. Their album The Sea of Disease came out in 2012 and features some kick-ass tunes including “Come too Far” which is a must-hear party anthem!


05. Darkside of Daylight (Longview, Texas | Metalcore)

– If you want heavy, in-your-face metal that will leave your ears bleeding, your brain scattered, and if played loud enough scares the shit out of your neighbors, then you will take the time to listen to Longview, TX-based band, Darkside of Daylight. This metalcore group has been tearing down the house since 2005 with their heavyweight musical attitudes and their song “Liar”, from the 2012 release Nowhere is Safe, will have you salivating for more!


Stay tuned as we comb through the North, South and West side of Texas for more kick-ass underground Rock and Metal bands that you NEED to check out!

*Be sure to also check out:
Texas Rocks: 5 Must-Hear Underground West Texas Rock and Metal Bands (Part 2)