Review Summary: Taking the term “generic metalcore” to new, heavenly heights
Chalk the failure up to age, maybe" The kids from rural Pennsylvania have an impressive pair of EP’s and now a pair of LP’s to their (absolutely horrible) name. Unfortunately for everyone involved, One Reality
is more of the same, trite, uninteresting melodic metalcore that they crank out in-between high school lunch sessions. The most striking feature of the work is that... well, there’s nothing at all striking about it. One Reality
fails because of the lack of a defining factor; it’s devoid of any single separating aspect, any reason to listen. It’s an album that unabashedly caters to the Hot Topic demographic of blind minions, and I have no doubts that Texas In July are going to become the “next big thing” in that crowd because of their ability to create music that pushes no boundaries, ruffles no feathers, and provide nothing below the surprisingly adept riffs and breakdowns. One Reality
displays flourishes of skill, but ultimately collapses because Texas In July refuse to add a single tinge of creativity or cognizant material to the mix.
In short, Texas In July provide no incentive to listen to their latest. Up-front about their influences, the band makes no attempt to hide the fact that their music is coloring well within the lines that predecessors August Burns Red (birthed from down the road from both Texas In July and myself) and Parkway Drive drew for them. I’m not asking them to apologize, as many who listened to I Am
seemed driven to do; but I am asking them to add some
sort of creative force to their music. One Reality
is a let down in this sense. Strong, driving percussion, a consistent vocalist that can keep up with the chugging, relatively uninspired riffs, and hyperbolic lyrics that often carry Christian themes, you get exactly what you expect on the sonic side of the equation. The technical aspects of the album are fairly well-executed, at points, the percussion especially. The flow of One Reality
isn’t a hinderance; it’s more of a non-factor considering the unflinching monotony.
The shame is that any tinges of skill and expertise in the songwriting and instrumental department go down the drain as soon as you realize that there’s absolutely nothing steering One Reality
. What sounds like an overbroad, unfair question when applied to most music sounds fair in this case, as I can’t help but ask, “Why listen at all"” If Texas In July are content being placed so comfortably into the mold of an ABR-cutout, then so be it; but it’s not asking for too much to plead for some semblance of creativity or some cognitive inclusion from the band. I mean this is their
art, right" Maybe it’s the age and immaturity speaking, but One Reality
comes off as a particularly well-executed covers album, one in which the artist has no voice at all. At the very least, it would be a pleasure to point to their youthfulness as a sign of potential for the future, but One Reality
won’t let even this happen. Musical potential is exciting or fantastic ideas that aren’t yet fully realized or executed well; alas, the lack of any inventive or artistic input from Texas In July whatsoever denies this possibility. I hope they’re comfortable to ride the coattails of mediocre metalcore to Hot-Topic-style-stardom, because One Reality
is an even more pigeon-holing piece that not only places the band in shoddy, generic territory, but places them in the bottom of the barrel, far below their far-too-similar cohorts.