Sound: Texas In July can be a hard pill to swallow. For every truly amazing thing about this band, they have a tendency to throw that away for more of the same old sounds the Metalcore genre has to offer. That doesn't mean this EP wasn't fun to listen to, however. Musically, these guys are probably the best thing to happen to metalcore since August Burns Red, encorperating insane melody flurishes, low end breakdowns, and lots of ferocity. The band is very tight, and sounds amazing, but the biggest musical flaw they face is not knowing when and where to segway parts together. Some lines come off as shoved in just to take up space (a lot of "Hook, Line And Sinner" comes off like this), and that alone can destroy what was looking to be a good song. It isn't the worst problem they could have, but it's truly a major one. The major musical factor that I truly enjoyed here was the drumming. The tom and cymbal work is leagues above most other bands, and their ability to even make the breakdowns challenging drum pieces (not just cymbal, cymbal snare while the kick drums hammers the chugs) makes it more fun to tune in to the back, even over the guitars, most of the time. // 7
Lyrics: The vocals aren't anything that will blow the average metalcore/post-hardcore listener out of the water. Mostly the same bellows and fry screams recycled over and over, but it's pretty obvious with such a technical band, vocals aren't exactly what they're trying to highlight. The lyrics carry some heavy Christian messages, so for those who can't abide that sort of thing TIJ is definately not for you. Some example lines:
"One last time we will stand at the foot of the cross, where He made the last sacrifice for you and I." - "Dressed For War"
"The hooded scoundrels await their death. We are of those chosen few."
"They bare the marks of the sin. They're nothing like us but they try to destroy our trust." - "There's Talk Of Strange Folk Abroad"
Not exactly the best written, but they convey their message. All in all, lyrics and vocals are the EP's true weakness. // 5
Overall Impression: Texas In July have been gaining popularity as a band with a hard work ethic, and an amazing live show. This, along with the musical side of things, could actually set them apart from the dozens of other smaller time metalcore bands. "Salt Of The Earth" has a charming grit to its production and writing, but it will take more than that for their future releases to be more than just another cookie cutter tech-metalcore album. For fans of: August Burns Red, Norma Jean, UnderOath. // 7