My co-Author IntoTheDarkness turned me on to Texas in July this past summer not long after they released their full-length CD I Am. I liked it immediately and have found myself going back to it periodically since then (and I’ll eventually explain why). When I first started listening to I Am, I knew nothing about the band and there wasn’t a lot to learn on the netz, though I did discover that despite their band name the guys were from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. (As a native Texan, I was a little disappointed by that discovery, but managed to get over it.)
Recently, after one of my periodic returns to I Am, I decided to hunt the web again for more info and found a lot more than when I looked the first time 6 months ago. For one thing, the band’s MySpace page now shows more than 1 million song plays, which is a shit-load. And I found that the band had released an EP called Salt of the Earth in October 2008 (both releases are now available on iTunes). I also found all sorts of on-the-surface reasons why the odds would be against me liking this band.
First, they’re really young (ages 16-18, and two of them still in high school) and I’m really not. I’ve found very few metal bands that young who have enough song-writing sophistication and playing chops to be worth more than a brisk once-over. Second, look at that photo above: kind of screams “Emo!” doesn’t it? Third, their label (CI Records) bills them as a Christian metalcore band. Now don’t get me wrong — they’re some bands stuck in that same genre pigeon-hole that I really like (e.g., August Burns Red) — but it’s not a long list. My tastes these days tend to run toward the more brutal end of the extreme metal spectrum.
But against all these odds, I’m still addicted to Texas in July. Call it a guilty pleasure. And the source of the appeal, as it should be, is the music. To explain . . .