Texas Is The Reason - Do You Know Who You Are? (Cover Artwork)

Texas Is The Reason

Do You Know Who You Are? (1996)


Yeah, yeah, I know this album is over half a decade old, I just always assumed that there was a review of it on this site. I was actually surprised when I found out that there was no trace of coverage for this influential, inspirational, and frequently imitated band.

The now defunct Texas Is The Reason (named after a line in the song "Bullet" by the Misfits) have left the world with their sole full-length recording*, "Do You Know Who You Are?" (named after the last words John Lennon supposedly heard before he died). Formed from the ashes of various hardcore bands, TITR was a venue for Garrett Klahn, Scott Winegard, Norm Arenas, and Chris Daly to create more personal music and shed the viciousness of hardcore.

"Do You Know Who You Are Now?" does what all good albums do – the songs are not meant to stand alone (although they easily could), rather the album as a whole is the true work of art in this case. It takes the listener on a journey with the band, going along with the story they have to tell. The hardest part of reviewing this album is that the feeling created by listening to it cannot be described. The aural oddysee begins with the upbeat track "Johnny On The Spot", leading into "The Magic Bullet Theory", probably the best song to use in order to describe TITR's overall sound. With the next three songs you can easily see how this band has influenced the increasingly popular emo genre. The title track is a haunting three minute instrumental that leads right into "Back And To The Left", undoubtedly the most explosive track on the CD. From there, the album begins to calm down, escorting the listener into the incredible ender "A Jack With One Eye", a song that starts out slow, but turns into a towering sonic detonation. Vocalist Garrett Klahn ends the last TITR song (ever) with a final warm phrase – "Your face is still at the heart of my everything".

If you are tired with current offerings by bands, then I ardently recommend this album. TITR was an innovative band that created music that was soaring, yet subtle; aggressive, yet beautiful; and profound, yet down to earth. As guitarist Norm Areanas once said, "We want to be a part of history." This album, lauded by scensters and casual listeners alike, has become a milestone in the history of underground music.

*I also highly advise you to check out their eponymous debut EP, all three songs on it are brilliant. They also have released singles on split albums with The Promise Ring (featuring one of their best songs, "Blue Boy") and Samuel.