Somehow, the EP title is my answer to the question: ‘How was this album made?’

Release date: November 17, 2023 | Equal Vision Records | Facebook | Spotify

It feels like 00s and 10s band revivals are the hypest trend lately, no? What with Maybeshewill, Misery Signals, Textures, to name just a few, announcing they are reuniting or already released new music. Some bands do a better job than others pulling off a move like this. The qualities of the result are directly proportional with the intent of the revival, as I see it. In the case of Maybeshewill, I think the members really felt they have some things left to say and the result speaks for itself. Misery Signals tried something, I’m really not sure what though, but it really got fumbled – at least their heart is in the right place. Now, Texas in July? If you loved Bloodwork like I did, you might want to sit down for this one. Because, to be perfectly frank and blunt with you – they done fucked up.

I really, really wanted a powerful and hard-hitting sequel to Bloodwork from Texas in July. I think that, as fans of the band, we all wanted that. They had incredible potential starting out and Bloodwork, in my honest opinion, rests at the top of the metalcore food chain along with other giants. I’ll level with y’all, I didn’t realistically expect a new record from the band (when they announced they’re back) to surpass that level, but I did expect said release to at least measure up to that. When I listened to the first single, I was pretty much disappointed, but I held out hope that the rest will make up for it. I was dead wrong.

It was pretty painful to mow through the songs. It was a chore, a drudgery, nothing that I would even remotely recommend. You might say that’s harsh and you’d be right. Although, I can’t be lenient about this. We’re talking about top tier representatives of a genre doing what amounts to a hastily propped up excuse of a record. I would totally consider giving some leeway, if this was the debut EP of a band formed a year ago by 19-year-olds; who have been playing for a couple of years and even then – I would be taking points away for compositional originality.

Without Reason is totally a stock metalcore flick, if I ever heard one. If we had a Dall-E/Midjourney for music and you gave it a prompt like “very loud and generic 2010s metalcore with packed riffs”, this is very much the result I would expect. I would’ve tried lying to myself and be less conservative in my assessment if the instrument tones, overall recording quality, and production would’ve been a massive step forward. They are instead, somehow, worse than on Bloodwork – which is almost ten years old.

Pardon my French, but how the actual fuck is that possible? I don’t even want an answer, it’s just frustrating! Almost a decade later, Texas in July failed to even stick to the good recipe you had in terms of songwriting and you manage to make things sound even worse? Did I mention the mix is obnoxiously loud and there’s something very tiring about the mix as well? I can’t even, even.

“Put to Death” is the only song that visibly stands up above the rest. It’s still not even at the same level as the weakest songs from Bloodwork, but it gets close. If Without Reason would’ve been comprised of songs which were all close to “Put to Death” in terms of impact, we might have had an EP with a fighting chance. I’m going to be real, it’s hard for me to even distinguish between “False Divinity”, “Razor’s Edge”, or “Digital Hellscape”. They could’ve just been “Track 1”, “Track 2” and so forth. “Goodbye” almost had something with its sort of “Everything Will Rust” (Misery Signals) vibe but it quickly descended to the average quality of the rest.

It’s rather unfortunate that one of the finer names in heavy music is back, only to regurgitate the ideas that didn’t make it to the final cut of the good albums. Texas in July might have once been great, however, now their appearance resembles a husk more than the stalwart stature it once proudly strutted about. I sincerely hope this is some misfortunate and temporary setback and they’ll return, at the very least, to their former luster.

Robert Miklos

Robert Miklos

What can I say? I love slapping keys and listening to squiggly air.

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