Texas Is The Reason

Do You Know Who You Are?: The Complete Collection

Written by: PP on 09/03/2013 03:31:52

Few bands can claim as much fame and recognition after having released just one full length and one EP as Texas Is The Reason; their 1996 album "Do You Know Who You Are?" is considered a cornerstone release within the original emo movement. It's arguably one of the most widely known and influential albums recorded in the genre alongside the classic Sunny Day Real Estate releases, and it's commonly accepted that Further Seems Forever or The Get Up Kids probably wouldn't have existed in the form that they did without this album. Neither would Finch, Hawthorne Heights, nor any of the more modern incarnations of the genre, who are still all sourcing melodies that were essentially pioneered and introduced for the first time on this record. It was a sound that clearly interpreted Sunny Day Real Estate's introspective, indie-flavored origins, but expanded that soundscape considerably towards a more anthemic and spacier sound. Elements of alternative rock and post-hardcore were also strongly featured on the album, no doubt as a result of the band members' past in renowned hardcore bands Shelter and 108.

The melodies on the album were so strong and so universally acclaimed that the band catapulted from being virtually unknown in early 1996 to mainstream success and stardom by mid 1997, with courtship from major labels starting to cause problems in the relationships within the band. The night of the final stop of their 1997 European tour, Chris Daly and Norm Arenas agreed before the show that if the show was "awesome", it would be their last, and in a later interview, Arenas recalled the following: "I walked on stage and we opened with 'Antique' and when Garrett [Klahn] started singing, there were eight hundred Germans singing along with us. I looked at Daly and knew that this was over." Way to go out on top. There have been sporadic one-off reunions since then, with the next one coming up at this year's Groezrock show.

It coincides with the release of a complete career retrospective called "Do You Know Who You Are?: The Complete Collection", which quite literally features every single song written by Texas Is The Reason ever, including two leftover songs from the original sessions that were never recorded before this release. 16 tracks of emotionally charged rock purified to its core, which features the whole full length, their EP, and their split EPs with Samuel and The Promise Ring.

Although many of us (this scribe included) were hardly old enough to have been around to hear these songs in the past, they exhibit an undeniable sense of familiarity from the first listen, because we've heard countless different interpretations of these very melodies by artists and bands who were inspired by them since then. Basically, you want to boil the original emo as a genre into a single release, "Do You Know Who You Are?" is it: highly emotive, anthemic melodies, yet with a slight introspective twist, yet a knack for some of the catchiest vocal/guitar dynamics and interplays you'll come to hear.

Klahn sings with an uplifting, anthemic tone that elevates the melodies to higher ranges, yet he preserves a slight strain and characteristic scratchiness to his voice. This is also known as charisma. At the same time, Norm Arenas' sparkling guitar leads make sure that although the songs sound huge, they don't escape to the stratosphere, and instead have a sense of honesty, a sense of humbleness to them. This is also known as brilliant songwriting prowess.

And the latter is what this retrospective collection is filled to its brim with. You won't find a bad song out of the 16 tracks recorded here, just classic, original emo gems that came to define an entire genre. Any fan of the style, or even anyone interested in the historical roots of the emo movement that has since then evolved into something completely different should consider this an essential purchase.

Download: Something To Forget (Version II), The Magic Bullet Theory, Back And To The Left
For the fans of: Mineral, Braid, Quicksand, The Get Up Kids, Further Seems Forever
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.02.2013
Revelation Records

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