You’ll have to forgive me for being decidedly late to the party, but WOW!! TEXAS IN JULY is a fucking great band!! I just happened to finally listen to the new album Bloodwork yesterday and I pretty much haven’t stopped since. It was on when I fell asleep at 2am and still going strong when I got up today (I’ve since purchased it, by the way.) So apparently this is album number four and there is a new vocalist J.T. Cavey. The first thing that actually caught my attention was his screaming/singing, because I am VERY picky when it comes to metalcore. Oftentimes the singer is too shrieking, whiny, growly, or all of the above. J.T. comes in and he sounds like he’s got balls the size of, well, Texas. Absolutely no bitchiness found on any one of these eleven tracks, thank the Gods. Quite the opposite, this sounds like a band full of piss and vinegar, on a mission to bust some heads.
This is especially evident on one of the top tracks “Nooses”, with drummer Adam Gray coming in hot, then leveling off, allowing Ben Witkowski’s bass and the guitars of Chris Davis and Cam Welsh to lay the solid, chunky, chugging foundation. Great thing about this band is even the breakdowns are interesting. At no time will you be bored, I assure you. “The Tightrope” features a guitar lick dancing like flames through the whole song enhancing it greatly. Of course, I can’t sing the praises of the musicians in this band without taking time to acknowledge “Decamilli” an instrumental that appears as if from nowhere and serves up one of the album’s finest pieces. The same can also be said for “Illuminate” melding aggression with melody in a precision attack designed for repeated listenings.
The album opens in pretty heavy fashion with “Broken Soul” and “Sweetest Poison”, Cavey taking charge right away and letting it be known TIJ is here to take no prisoners. Breakdowns aplenty show up in “Pseudo Self” and “Defenseless” is as brutal as the title would suggest. Here once again the band is a well-oiled machine hell-bent on pummeling you to death. The tones and effects used in “The Void” really bring a fresh sound to the table, and the guitar solo reaches for the stars. In the case of “Inner Demons” once again the band is not shy about using breakdowns but when coupled with the technical profiency and beautifully woven lead work they serve to only enhance not hurt the song. “Bloodwork” is the title track and closer and was another instant favorite ten seconds in. One last raging slab of pain comes down on your head before you pick yourself up and start it all over again.
As I said before, I knew nothing about TEXAS IN JULY just yesterday, and now I’m counting them among my favorite new discoveries of 2014. Bloodwork is available everywhere now via Equal Vision Records. And if they keep putting out albums like this they’ll get my money every single time. If you want to hear metalcore done right, then this is the band to listen to, my friends.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM