Review Summary: Texas in July bring their most solid effort yet, but that isn't saying very much at all.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
I just got done cleaning my ears with some hydrogen peroxide, trust me you would too after listening to this entire album in one take...twice. Before I start bashing these guys, I must say I will give these guys props for being as young as they are. With their third album released these guys are all below the age of twenty. I believe that is where it hurts this band, their age and maturity reflect on the generic metalcore they play. I mean, I could see these guys doing much better if they were all older and didn't need a breakdown every 20 seconds, kind of doing what The Devil Wears Prada did last year. Not only do they come off as generic, but many would agree that they are "rip-offs" or just heavily influenced from August Burns Red. You know the album Constellations? This album has just about the same tuning, riffs, and style going for it, only imagine it being done much worse. I think I'll actually go and listen to August Burns Red after writing this. With that off my chest, let's delve into this album some more.
First off on the instrumentals, they are decently improved compared to their last album. Guitar riffs are surprisingly good sometimes, but whenever I start to get into them, they either disappear or a breakdown comes in and wipes it out. Sadly I wish I could ignore talking about the breakdowns, but they make up a good portion of the album's personality. Now come on, everyone enjoys a good breakdown or two on a metalcore record am I right? When they are overdone and horribly placed, it becomes annoying. Not only are they scattered everywhere on this self-titled album, but they aren't even punishing or fun. This band is well known for that one song on their first album, "Hook, Line, and Sinner." That song was at least to say fun. This album strips away that carefree energy and kind of matured for the worse. Now this album can definitely be fun at times, when you are in the mood to just get up in mosh for no real purpose. A lot of the songs come off as underwhelming when I was just observing and analyzing them. The lead single, "Bed of Nails", has a lot of up and down motions throughout the song. The guitar riffs are melodic, crisp, and spread everywhere. Kind of reminds me of a certain band.....I'll stop there. Oh yeah, back onto the guitars, you will obviously find a lot of chugging riffs in this album, that's kind of expected. Alright, now onto drums. I really liked the drums in this release, they weren't all that boring and were mixed in well, so I give a good job to that. Last instrument in the bunch we may as well skip, because when was the bass ever audible in this band? That always disappoints me when I can't hear some good bass in metalcore. Also I wouldn't recommend listening to the entire album in one take, as it is pretty repetitious.
Now onto the vocals. I'm really not a big fan of Alex Good, who is the lead vocalist. He has no real ear catching personality to his screams. He mostly performs mids, you hardly ever hear any lows or high screams and growls on this record, which can get quite boring. If he mixed it up some more, maybe learned to do some more clean vocals, or just basically defining himself as different, the vocals wouldn't be all that bad. Lyrics aren't all that bad though. As you may all know this band is a Christian metalcore band, so christian lyrics are expected. "How I perceive my own beliefs is clearly up to me. I guess sharing the light's not what it was. I was your eye on the inside. Still hypnotized with your eyes wide open" - taken from Crux Lust. While the lyrics don't take that much to comprehend what Alex is trying to get at, they aren't anything to complain over.
I'll say that fans of Texas in July's previous works will be decently pleased. The average metal head, or metalcore enthusiast for that matter won't find anything all that special with this release. One can only hope that this band will either find the needs to make a good metalcore record and stop copying others ideas, or just stop making music. I wasn't all that happy listening to this, it felt more of a chore than enjoyment, but to each his own at the end of the day.
Tracks to check out if interested: