Texas In July – S/T
Record Label: Equal Vision Records
Release Date: October 9th, 2012
A few years ago, I really liked metalcore, and PA outfit Texas In July was no exception. They satisfied my taste for metalcore down to a tee. However, now that I’m a bit older, I feel a bit jaded towards the genre. It’s not that I don’t like it, but I took a step back, and realized how generic a lot of it was. A lot of it is not, but bands like Texas In July are rather generic. My first experience with them was about two years ago at a Hot Topic; I saw their first EP Salt of the Earth, and I picked it up. It was exactly what I was looking for. It still is my favorite released by them, but fast forward to 2011, and they released their debut album for Equal Vision Records entitled, One Reality. Well, the album wasn’t bad, but it was generic. I look at Texas In July being the poor man’s August Burns Red; they sound almost exactly alike, but August Burns Red is definitely much better, as well as experienced. It almost seems like Texas In July isn’t sure what their sound is yet. However, their third album, aptly titled, Self-titled, is more or less a continuation of One Reality.
The record opens with intro track “Initiate,” and it’s one of those unnecessary intro tracks that doesn’t really do anything. It starts off quite slowly, but builds as the 54-second intro goes on. However, by the 35-second mark, vocalist Alex Good comes in with muffled vocals, and that’s when you know something is about to happen. It leads right into next track, “Cry Wolf,” and you know they’re back. The track starts off with a rather generic guitar riff by guitarists Christian Royer, and Chris Davis. In a way, this song really describes what the rest of the album is about. While I like this album more than their last album, it still is lacking the key that makes Texas In July stand out from all the other metalcore bands out there today. They do have a lot of potential, however. I may not be into this kind of music anymore, but this is a band I’m quite familiar with. Another that may throw people off is that this a Christian band, so in a way, they do follow August Burns Red’s footsteps, because August Burns Red is also a Christian metalcore band. I apologize in advance for all the August Burns Red comparisons, but ultimately, I felt like I was listening to August Burns Red while listening to this album.
Anyway, as the album goes on, there’s not much that really stands out, save for a few scattered moments. At about 35 minutes, it’s not a bad length for an album like this; you get a very nice dose of metalcore, and you’re on your way. It’s not to say the album is forgettable. It’s quite enjoyable, but I felt as though I’ve heard it all before, hence the August Burns Red comparisons. While I felt as though I’ve heard it before, the songs never go over four minutes, and I think that really does work to its advantage. Like I said, it’s short metalcore, nothing more, and nothing less. Fourth track “Without a Head” is the longest song on the album at almost 4 minutes, and it’s a monster of a track. It doesn’t really do anything differently that the prior three tracks did, but it’s quite enjoyable for what it is. Next track “Bed of Nails” is one of the best tracks on the record, because it does take their brand of metalcore and welds into something rather aggressive. I love the bridge of this song; it’s not really that generic, surprisingly. If their sound was more like this song, I could really into this band more. Sadly, though, moments like these come few and far between. Sixth track, “Repressed Memories” is one of those moments as well. This song is completely the opposite of “Bed of Nails.” It’s a very “chill” moment, for the lack of a better word. The song is very relaxed, and slows the album a bit. It seems to be a very fitting interlude track. And instead of being a minute, it’s three and a half. So, in a sense, it gives the listener a few minutes to get himself/herself together before getting pummeled with more metalcore. Next track, “C4,” definitely reminds me of an August Burns Red track, specifically the song, “White Washed” (from 2009’s “Constellations”). Maybe that’s a coincidence, but regardless, this is another strong track on the album, and one of the most aggressive as well. As for the rest of the album, it really doesn’t do much for me, in all honesty. Closing track “Cloudy Minds,” is a nice album closer. Again, it doesn’t do very much for me, but it’s still an enjoyable song to close out the album nicely.
Overall, this album doesn’t do too much for me. Again, maybe I’m just a jaded guy, but I don’t really care for metalcore very much. However, this should please fans of the genre. There’s no way it really wouldn’t. In terms of generic metalcore, these guys are pretty good. For what it is, it’s quite enjoyable.