They came from some of the most popular, if not polarizing hardcore bands of the early '90s (SHELTER, 108, RESSURECTION), but by the time TEXAS IS THE REASON formed in 1994, a new aesthetic crystallized almost instantly and reduced its members' previous efforts to history. Indeed, it was only a year later, when Revelation Records released the band's self-titled EP - their name derived from a lyric in the MISFITS song "Bullet" - that TEXAS IS THE REASON were already headlining their own tours in America and well on their way to defining a new moment in post-punk.
In April of 1996, the band reinforced that initial success with their first and only album, produced by JAWBOX's J. Robbins and named after the last words that John Lennon was alleged to have heard: "Do You Know Who You Are?" In the years since, Spin, Alternative Press, and Paste would all go on to call "Do You Know Who You Are?" an essential '90s album. Unfortunately, after a year of heavy promotion and touring for the record, inner-band tension came to a head, and TEXAS IS THE REASON officially split in 1997. Its members would go on to form JETS TO BRAZIL, NEW END ORIGINAL, and SOLEA.
Since then, the band had only reunited once - for two sold-out New York City shows in 2006 - but their presence has barely waned: Newer generations of bands like SPITALFIELD, INTO IT. OVER IT., and TRANSIT have covered TEXAS IS THE REASON songs over the years, and even vets like THURSDAY, TAKING BACK SUNDAY, and ARMOR FOR SLEEP have all publicly cited their influence. So after agreeing to headline the opening night of Revelation Records' 25th Anniversary festival in New York City earlier this year (and once again promptly selling it out), the band decided it was time to tie up the longest of loose ends: In early 2013, TEXAS IS THE REASON will begin a limited and exclusive North American run to support the release of a remastered discography collection featuring the band's entire recorded output, as well as two freshly recorded, never-before-released songs - their final songs ever.
"Do You Know Who You Are?: The Complete Collection" will be released by Revelation Records in February.
Garrett Klahn - guitar/vocals
Norman Brannon - guitar
Scott Winegard - bass
Chris Daly - drums
Interviews and Reviews
Perfection is the reason...
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.
AVERSIONONLINE.COM, December 30th, 2005