Friday, September 23, 2011

FDF Volume 3 Issue 241 - Texas is the Reason - Do You Know Who You Are

By: March

Album – Do You Know Who You Are?
Artist – Texas is the Reason
Key Players – Norm Arenas – guitar. Chris Daly – drums. Scott Winegard – bass. Garrett Klahn – guitar,vocals.

Produced By – J.Robbins

Release Date – April 30, 1996

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Shuffle on iTunes. I heard 2 tracks in the span of an 8hr work day and decided I wanted to listen to it in full.

Overview – This is the first and only full length album from New York City based band “Texas is the Reason”. Formed in 1994 with a name inspired by a Misfits song entitled “Bullet” the band would become an underground sensation. The album, rumored to be named after the last statement heard by John Lennon would also allude towards the John F. Kennedy assassination theories in the song titles. The band was about to really get big and sign to a major label when they headed to Europe for a tour. On the final night of the tour founders Daly and Arenas agreed this would be their final show and would subsequently dissolve the band.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) The 37 minute album opens with “Johnny on the Spot” with all the members coming in together. There is a particular punch to the drums and Klahn has a nasal vocal style, but he pushes himself with the big riffs and the help of Arenas and Wiengard. The band is on task with not a lot of big fills, a straight ahead rock song. After the second verse the band seems to have a short jam, but head to the chorus before long. The section just feels a few bars longer. After the second chorus the music slows some with Wiengard and Daly holding it down for the guitars to chime off one another. Daly seems ready to go and hits it down and the band comes back in for another run at the chorus. Daly likes his snare and crash cymbals but towards the end finds the rumble of his tom-toms as Arenas and Klahn battle off one another at the conclusion. “The Magic Bullet Theory” begins with a grating guitar riff and the whole bands comes in. The two guitars sound great together with neither really taking the other over. The two are focus points on the song with Klahn really wearing his emotions on his sleeve. The band offers a few portions of backing vocals. We mellow out, at least at the start of “Nickel Wound”. Winegard and Daly again lay the foundation as the guitars work to find their place. When Klahn comes in he is more laid back, but then the music gets more urgent. They strike forward the band fires off each other. We get those big walls of bass/guitar/drums which can get the listener in a particular mood. Some of the backing vocals are shouted, but they are tucked under the music enough so as to not pull the listener away. They do repeat this formula, but it somehow doesn't feel stale. Winegard is solo at the start of “There Is No Way I Can Talk Myself Out of This One Tonight”. The guitars join forces before Daly comes in. Often identified as an emo band, you can hear it in the vocals. I'd have to say if you were not sure what “emo” is, this is a pretty good example. The mix is good on the track as one can hear the tambourine shaking along with the clanging hi-hat as the guitars swirl. The band never really opens up like you might think they would or could, still it fits with the feel of the record. “Something to Forget” has Daly and Winegard for the first 15 seconds before Arenas and Klahn come screaming in on guitars. The urgency lays back some when the verses are sung, but they still hit hard. Daly hits the kit pretty hard on the track and Daly feeds right off him as the two are the cornerstone of the track. Klahn seems to push himself pretty well and there are backing vocals to really fill out the song. While speaking of the backing vocals this track is the most they are utilized, at least to this point, and it honestly gives the song all that much more punch. The guitars are great too. “Do You Know Who You Are?” is an instrumental track, with the guitars buzzing on one side, but ringing distinct lines at the same time. The bass and drums are pretty hushed having the guitars be the main focus. We get back to full bore on “Back and To The Left” an almost punk rock tempo Klahn seems to be pushing the band, almost begging them to keep up. He, and Arenas attack their guitars and Daly continues to abuse his drum kit. Easily one of the stand out tracks on the album. Daly clicks off “The Day's Refrain” and continues as a single guitar comes in. When the full band comes in we are little more on the laid back side. They get a little more rowdy towards the end but it not to push away listeners. The album concludes with, what in my opinion, is their shining moment the track “A Jack With One Eye”. The guitars work off one another at the start before the very methodical drum beat from Daly starts. Wiengard swoops the bass line the same as the guitar part, while the second guitar starts to break out. Its a hushed, slow building song which repeats the riff for close to the first minute of the song. When Klahn comes in, he is quiet and held back some as the band seems to drop riffs and notes in a scattered pattern only then swelling as one massive collective and just hammering with a great hook. Klahn, once again, really pushes and digs deep as the band just explodes around him. They repeat this and it doesn't loose any of its punch. You want this over and over again and they pull through. I bet this is/was epic live. A great album closer.

Where are they now? After the band broke up Klahn went to the band “New Rising Sons”, Daly went to Jets to Brazil and Winegard starting working in the music business and then getting back to playing with the Americans. In 2006 the band re-formed for what was supposed to be a one off show in New York, it sold out quickly so a second show was added. The band insisted there would be no tour and they were not reforming the band. Since then there is some info on their
label page

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – 100% admit I found out about this band well after they broke up.

FDF Overall Take – There are some really great moments on this record. Even if you are not sure what “emo” is (check here) you'll start to get it if/when you listen to this. Sure others may have done it before/better/faster/stronger etc, but this is a very strong example of the genre. The mystique of the band is even more full blown with the demise before they could have potentially exploded. It is a good rock record, really. Worth your time and very few “duds” on the record.


Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

You can still find the album here.


Post a Comment

<< Home