Texas In July – Texas In July
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Record Label: Equal Vision
Potential. It can make and break careers. Lancester, PA, band Texas In July has had the “potential” tag on them since its debut album I Am excited the metalcore masses. Equal Vision noticed, snatched up the band quickly, and put out the band’s second album, One Reality. Unfortunately, the album was a step back - a metal-by-the-numbers snoozer that fans dismissed quickly. Potential can only take you so far until people start to tune you out. Texas In July must’ve realized this, as the quintet have done a complete one-eighty with its self-titled album, Texas In July – one of the most surprising albums of 2012.
When the band premiered “Bed of Nails” a few months ago, I knew we were going to get something good from Texas In July. The blistering pace, Alex Good’s improved vocals, and the demented guitar riff outro is a prime example of what the band can do when it meets its potential. Texas In July is an eleven track showcase of the band meeting and exceeding its potential, as the band improved significantly in areas from technical prowess to song composition. In short, this album rarely lets up after the slow-building intro track “Initiate,” as the appropriately named intro collides into “Cry Wolf.” The intensity of Good’s scream results in an impassioned “BLEH!,” leading into the tracks pummeling breakdown. The guitar work throughout the album from Christian Royer and Chris Davis is inspired. Check out the fantastic melodic riff underneath the crushing breakdown on "C4," while the twists and turns of "Black Magic" will keep your head on a swivel.
But Texas In July is more than just breakdowns on breakdowns - there’s a maturity and sophistication present throughout . Watch the quintet expand its sound on crushing post-metal number “Repressed Memories” or drummer Adam Gray’s crazed drumming on “Paranoia” and "Crux Last." Both of these instances come together on album closer "Cloudy Minds," as Texas In July proves they aren't a one-trick pony. And let’s not forget Alex Good’s ferocious growl throughout, as his screams never sounded crisper or more in control. Even though the some tracks can fall into the trap of monotony, the energy and passion behind Texas In July will keep your attention.
While the album isn’t without its problems (repetition and predictable patterns show up every now and then), the band has turned potential into reality with Texas In July. The quintet have dramatically elevated their craft, which should set up Texas In July for a big 2013 (following in the path of metalcore staples like The Devil Wears Prada and August Burns Red) and have them on the verge of being a powerhouse within the genre.
I love a couple songs by these guys but other than that I just can't get totally into them because every time I try I find myself wanting to listen to August Burns Red instead (I know, it's an age old comparison). I mean their musicianship is among the top in the genre, it's just not different enough for me to want to listen to it.