When a band decides to self-title their album far into their career, it is actually quite a risky move. This is because with that record, the band is defining themselves, and this is how the band truly sounds. That
is the type of move that Lancaster, Pennsylvania quintet Texas in July
has decided to set forth. Forming from the ashes of A Shotgun Wedding
, they have been rising tall in the music scene since 2007, starting with their debut EP “Salt of the Earth
.” It alone attracted much recognition from melodic metal and hardcore fans. After that, in 2009 their first full-length album “I Am,” which showcased the band placing more melody into their music than the polyrhythmic onslaught of “Salt of the Earth
.” Eventually, they signed a deal with Equal Vision Records, home of Chiodos
and Set It Off
, and unleashed their second full-length “One Reality.” However, despite the changes the band’s sound has underwent during the release of their past works, 2012
has seen the group’s defining moment, with their third self-titled album. Having come so far in their career after just a few years, the quintet has set up 11 tracks to finally answer the question: What is Texas in July
Starting off, the musicianship and production are both fantastic in “Texas in July
.” The vocals are as powerful as ever, consisting of very aggressive and bold screams that don’t ever sound half-hearted or forced. They are filled with raw energy that falls together with the rest of the musicianship. The guitars balance perfectly balance on the line between sheer abrasiveness and soaring melody. Potent and invigorating melodies mix together with rather complex chugs to make way for a formidable display of great instrumentation. The drums are also an easy highlight for this album, heavily loaded with technicality and tottering excellently between speed and steadiness. The band’s musicianship really shows its true living colors in their self-titled effort, and nothing falls flat in any way, shape, or form in this respect. All of the elements, the vocals, the guitarwork, and the drums all add up to create a highly potent and versatile mix. On top of that, the sound production is also as praiseworthy as the musicianship, giving the music a crisp yet raw sound that truly underlines the album’s aggressive nature. Overall, “Texas in July
” really does it right in both aspects.
Like in their previous works, Texas in July
delivers sonic metalcore packed with savage energy and melody in their self-titled work. The aggressive vocals, the razor-sharp guitarplay, and the complex drumming combine to create a rowdy yet passionate mix. Ranging from soaring melodies to rather technical breakdowns, “Texas in July
” never flounders in its onslaught. The optimal track from this piece would be “Cry Wolf
,” which brings out the best this album has to offer, wielding that awesome range as earlier described. This track grabs you by the ears with this fearsome mix and pretty much never lets go, encasing the listener in its strong and vigorous fabric. It’s unflinching, uplifting, and simply teeming with raw energy. It enters thunderously, and leaves the same way it came. “Cry Wolf
” is a true and undeniably great representation of what sound the band has embraced after all this time.
However, if you want the best of the band’s melodic side in this record, “Repressed Memories” and “Cloudy Minds” are the ways to go. “Repressed Memories” is practically an interlude, but even this is worth repeated listens. Its peaceful melodies turn to a soaring crescendo that listeners will soon likely not forget. “Cloudy Minds” is, for the most part, bold metalcore slinging, but about two-thirds in, it recedes into a mellow track. Jazzy guitarplay interlaces with the dual performance of drummer Alex Good, assisted by Matt Greiner from legendary metalcore outfit August Burns Red
, weaving together a nice chill that manages to flow well with the track’s destructive demeanor. On the other hand, if you are looking for the best of this album’s most brutal side, go to “Bed of Nails
” and “Black Magic
.” They explode in energetic fury that can drive a whole crowd rowdy. “Texas in July
” is the type of album that greatly demonstrates both the melodic and harsh sides of the metalcore sound.
Texas in July
has officially shown itself with this effort. It is likely the best record that this quintet ever has had to offer to its audience. The musicianship is a forced to be reckoned with, and the sound production pushes the music even higher up the scale. The band has proven that after garnering three stellar albums under their belt, they have mastered the melodic and brutal realms of metalcore. “Texas in July
” stretches itself from the transcending melodies to the buzzsaw breakdowns, brandishing strong energy and vigor that prevents it from getting tiresome. The only thing that this album fails to do is really shatter any metalcore molds; in other words, while this is a very nicely done record that surely will draw in newcomers to the genre, there’s nothing completely new that it has to offer. Nonetheless, fans of melodic, ferocious, and potent metalcore and hardcore will want to get their hands on this album. As stated earlier, this record also serves as a great introduction of the metalcore genre to new listeners as well. Texas in July
has defined what defining a band’s self truly is.