By Van Williams, Contributor
Key Tracks: “Are We Alright?,” “Motion For Action,” “The River”
Music scenes and bands that thrive on cult followings always seem to flicker and fade. Such could be said about ’90s Midwest emo outfit Texas Is The Reason. They put out one EP and one full length in the mid ’90s before breaking up–and no one ever really expected to hear much from them again. Now, decades later, we’re finally seeing a new batch of songs from the band’s ex-frontman Garrett Klahn in the form of a self-titled solo record.
The record opens strongly, immediately drawing the listener in with a sweet melody and a noticeably stronger vocal approach from Klahn than he’s utilized in the past. No longer does he sound like a pissed off teenager screaming lyrics into a cheap microphone and naming his band after Misfits lyrics. Klahn realizes that running from the past isn’t something ever done effectively so he doesn’t run from it, but rather walks with it tucked securely in his back pocket. Klahn sounds like a man who knows where he’s come from, and is looking forward to wherever it is that he’s going.
The record flows effortlessly with loosely strummed chords and smooth synthesizer melodies, something definitely not used in past projects. “I Don’t Care At All” was the single from the album, but the real treat lies in the following track, “Motion For Action.” The track slowly weaves in and out of itself, unfolding like a starry June night. “You threw it all away, and I chase it every day,” Klahn confesses over one of the record’smost memorable choruses.
The album continues to roll along, like a train out west under the stars. Klahn would not sound out of place performing this record opening up for the likes of The Gaslight Anthem. The riffs shine over the muffled bass and open acoustic chords through the middle of the record, eventually reaching “The River,” another key track. Each of these songs sound like a separate piece of a very important adventure, personal enough to follow his story, vague enough to make it our own.
Garrett Klahn sounds like a mature veteran of his profession, confident in his abilities, with little to no sign of desperation or uncertainty. This album serves as a sort of homecoming, and as the sun sets, he knows he can be proud of where he’s been and what he’s created.