Texas is the Reason - Do You Know Who You Are?: The Complete Collection
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Record Label: Revelation Records
It’s always difficult to properly gauge the value of a record that came out when you were in the early part of your teenage years – especially if you weren’t around to enjoy the band’s heyday. I was something like 11 when Texas in the Reason released their one and only album, but even as I picked up on the album some years later – like most people – it was easy enough to hear the band’s influence on some of my favorite records. But now that the band has reunited for a run of shows and a re-release of said record, it is certainly worth a second look – or a first look if you’ve never taken the journey through the band’s rather small discography. Do You Know Who You Are?: The Complete Collection isn’t just that though, as it includes their self-titled EP as well as two tracks that haven’t seen the light of day until now. All nostalgia and swirling emotion for such a release aside, the simple act of collection and addition makes good on the band’s reunion in a simple, but quite nostalgic way.
In a way, it’s kind of somber to again hear a record like this some 17 years since its creation. Not because it is terrible or anything like that, but it makes me wish I would have cared about this type of music at that time in my life. Hearing drops and pieces of what would come in the realm of turn of the century post-hardcore, Texas is the Reason often armed themselves with a combination of melody and emotion in a way that attempts to be replicated year after year. While at times distortion made them sound more like a punkish alt-rock band (“Back And To The Left”, “The Magic Bullet Theory”), other times the band is wizard-like in their layering of guitar lines to the point of near hypnotization. Regardless though, their confidence in songwriting and aching vocal delivery hits whether the band is pushing forward or stewing a bit in their own melodies – a sign of the flexibility many imitators don’t quite pull off as well.
As for the new songs, it is kind of a tale of two styles. “Every Little Girl’s Dream” ties a bit more with the slower cuts of the record, though it’s textured, slightly spacey vibe twirls guitar lines with ease. It is arguably the song of the two that people will feel less connected to, and for good reason – it doesn’t really feel a part of the gamut their LP runs, but that doesn’t discount the track from being good at what it does. “When Rock ‘N Roll Was Just a Baby” feels much more central to that sound, with alt-rock guitars and a slight rasp to Garrett Klahn’s voice that make a gritty pop(ish) jam that just begs you to nod your head along... at the very least.
But for as much as has already been and will be said about Texas is the Reason's impact in our scene, consider this a reminder to know your roots. Do You Know Who You Are? brings an emotional tug-of-war over angular guitars and driving songwriting whether the tempo drifts into space or feels more like it exists in some pre-cursor to Thursday’s path into a similar realm. It’s quite an overwhelming feeling to hear this band and think they only did one record due to breaking up a few years later. If anything, this re-release reminds me only of another album I must make sure to pass onto my kids at some later point in my life.
I didn't like it at first either, but now I think it's unique and catchy. It takes getting used to for sure, but he sounds great on the two new songs.
I actually used to love his voice. I didn't listen to DYKWYA for a few years, and when re-listening, his voice was sort of hard to take. It didn't make the album unlistenable, it's far too good for that, but my love for it definitely diminished a little.