Texas is the Reason "Do You Know Who You Are?" CDPosted on Friday, December 30th, 2005 @ 11:23am » permalink
I figured I might as well stick with what I did last week and kick off this holiday weekend with yet another outstanding classic from the Revelation Records back catalog (man, what an excellent label that used to be) in Texas is the Reason's "Do You Know Who You Are?", which is among the greatest emo records ever from a band whose time certainly came to an end all too soon. Their memorable songs possessed a unique sound that has never been matched, and probably never will be.
When the band formed in 1994 its members had served not particularly noteworthy stints in Shelter, 108, Ressurection (yes, that's actually how they spelled it), Copper, and Fountainhead; but whether they like it or not (and I see no reason why they wouldn't), they'll likely all be most remembered for their time in Texas is the Reason. To the best of my knowledge they recorded a mere 14 songs in three years, including a self-titled EP, splits 7"s with The Promise Ring and Samuel, and the aforementioned full-length – their final release in 1996. Turmoil amidst the individual members apparently led to their breakup in 1997, at a time when the band was said to be courting numerous major labels. And oh, the pain it brings when I imagine what brilliance could've materialized had such gifted songwriters been given the opportunity to work with a major label budget. Damn…
But anyway, while they may have borrowed their name from a Misfits lyric, the "punkest" thing about the band was probably their record collections, as musically we're talking flawless emo blueprints that have been all too disregarded in recent years as the genre becomes further distorted and confused with age. "Do You Know Who You Are?" really is the perfect emo record: Fusing equal parts slower, moody atmospheres and punchy, pop-tinged smatterings using fluid clean passages and crunchy distortion within catchy songs that range from memorable to purely infectious – there's not even close to a bad song in their entire discography. Garrett Klahn's unique vocals certainly lent a lot to the band's identity, but even the instrumental title track works wonders in proving the band's universal strengths. And "Back and to the Left"? One of the best songs ever. Period.
In the years since Texas is the Reason's unfortunate breakup, guitarist Norm Arenas and bassist Scott Winegard played in New End Original (with Arenas most recently joining Gratitude as a touring guitarist under the name Norman Brannon); drummer Chris Daly did time with Jets to Brazil; and Garrett Klahn was in the New Rising Sons, though his current outfit, Solea, is by far the best of the band's post-Texas… exploits.
Thankfully, once more, the most important half of Texas is the Reason's recorded output is still in print straight from the label, so if you're so insane as to not possess this CD already, take care of business, my friends. This is absolutely another record that should be used for takin' the young ones to school, so to speak:
And while we're somewhat close to the topic, can someone please tell me how it is humanly possible for Jets to Brazil to suck as bad as they do? Okay, okay, maybe they don't outright suck, but after so much anticipation when I first heard them years and years ago I was so let down that at that moment, believe me, they fucking sucked. Come on, ex-members of Jawbreaker, Handsome, and Texas is the Reason? Including the mighty Blake Schwarzenbach and Jeremy Chatelain? How the fuck can the results not be one of the greatest bands to have ever set foot on the planet!? I never could figure that one out. Talk about heartbreaking…