Texas In July review by Texas in July

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  • Released: Oct 9, 2012
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.8 (17 votes)
Texas in July: Texas In July
2

Sound — 9
If you ask someone in the metal scene who Texas In July was, they would probably refer to them as August Burns Red's younger brother. Granted, they did come out of the same music scene of eastern PA, but their similarities in sound on their first two albums were definitely there. On their new self-titled 2012 venture, the boys in TIJ attempt to separate themselves from that comparison. From the start of the album, I would have to compare the quality of the sound to that of their last album, "One Reality" - the guitars and drums are well mixed, and typical of metal albums these days, the bass is mostly mixed out, which is a shame, considering Ben Witkowski writes almost all of their songs. In any case, the sound is tight, and well produced. For the actual songs, a few stand out in my mind. "Cry Wolf" is a decent song, some good TIJ riffing courtesy of Christian and Chris, and "Bed Of Nails", which is probably the most catchy song off the album and will definitely have a place on their touring setlist in the future. Apart from those, Texas In July made a first with their third album, and invited several guest vocalists into the mix. From my point of view, this was very well done. I like Texas' sound, but they suffer from a disease common in their genre, that of repetition of sound. Throwing Chadwick Johnson of Hundredth, Dave Stephens of We Came As Romans, and Matt Greiner of ABR fame into three of their tracks ("Without A Head", "C4", and "Cloudy Minds" respectfully) brings new life to the album that might otherwise suffer from the aforementioned problem. I think the band realized that the main complaint from their sophomore album regarded the singularity of their sound, particularly with regard to vocals, so this was an effort to change that, and I believe it was mostly successful. Sadly, the song "Shallow Point" still feels a bit like a filler, but the rest of the album is distinct and is great progress in the band. Alex Good does a nice job of varying up his vocals, even attempting some almost death vocals in "Black Magic". Pretty darn nice.

Lyrics — 7
Alex Good has borne the brunt of a lot of abuse by critics on websites from what I've seen on the similarity of all of his singing, particularly on "One Reality". Combining guest vocalists with changes of his own, Alex and the band clearly wanted to change that in this album. Although a Christian band, it is not immediately clear that their beliefs dictate their lyrics. Ben Witkowski, the bassist, writes all or most of their songs, an interesting dynamic for a metal band. A lot of their songs reflect the growth in the band and the songwriter as an individual - all the guys in the band are still very young, and their lyrics reflect a developing view on the world around them as they grow up in the music scene, often dealing with relationships, learning to stand by what you believe in even when others do not, and so on. An interesting look at a band who have been together since they were only about 16.

Overall Impression — 8
As far as other bands in their genre, the musicians in TIJ stand out on their skill, Adam Gray especially garnering attention for his performance on the kit. Compared to their last effort, Adam clearly has had a little more range in terms of showing what he has to offer, returning to more of the bestial sound of their I am album. Christian and Chris write catchy riffs similar to those of their previous album, but include a lot more catchy, intricate riffs like on their song "Magnolia", a trait which was missing overall in "One Reality". I discussed Alex's improvements earlier, so I'm sticking with that - He clearly put a lot into his performance on this album. Overall, I enjoyed this album, appreciated the changes the band made following the feedback from "One Reality", and have spun it a number of times already and liked it more and more each time. I would definitely buy it again if stolen, and be glad they are getting more exposure. As no band is perfect, I believe Texas In July still has plenty of room to grow, but they are all very young guys, so I'm definitely interested to see where they go. I recommend a listen.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    iammclovin
    Definitely a step in the right direction for them. I enjoyed this way more than their previous albums.
    vppark2
    Same. Mr. Alex Good def shows a lot more emotion on these tracks, Adam Grey as always, is killer at drumming, and the riffs are a lot better. Doesnt sound as generic as most of their other stuff. A lot more memorable I'd say, and call me crazy but I found this album better than AILD's latest. Not by that much, but I just enjoyed this more, a lot more variety.
    Sam Rulez D00d
    EpiExplorer didn't have the first comment, bashing the band. Interesting, he must be in a coma.
    vppark2
    nah, he was too busy dealing with Converge's review i guess. seems like he ignores some of the little things nowadays. lol. and he did comment on "I Am" when i reviewed that album, so odd o.o
    Sam Rulez D00d
    Hahaha I actually remember that! He was trashing on Adam Gray. Which isn't really understandable cause whether you like this type of music or not, you gotta admit he's a damn good drummer.
    vppark2
    I just don't know how he bases his opinions off these bands. Like for you, and I, we probably find most of these bands pretty solid as fans of metalcore. Its almost like hes interested in these bands but in-turn gets disappointed by the end result. Idk, and Adam is a beast, I honestly cant decide if he's better than Luke Holland tho. Probably is, but its debateable.
    vppark2
    haha but yeah, its honestly funny like the only metalcore band hes talked good about is Trivium. Like of all bands, really! I think theyve gotten better, but still. Anyways whats your take on this album?
    Sam Rulez D00d
    I've only heard the single so I really can't say. I'm definitely gonna try to listen to it next chance I get, seemed like a good review.
    vppark2
    It's a lot better than their first 2 albums. Alex is stronger, lyrically, and vocally. I love As I Lay Dying, but i thought this album was much more solid.
    vppark2
    Great review. Im glad you did it because I have had a busy week. Anyways I honestly had no idea that Ben writes most of their songs. Interesting, I mean I honestly cannot see knuckle-headed Alex writing them. He seems awkward as **** as it is haha but good album, id give it an 8 personally, as well.
    axelgarcia1
    Matt Greiner is the drummer of ABR. does he actually sing in that album? or did you mean Jake Luhrs? lol. i'm not being a smart ass though