Change is inevitable. When personnel changes happen in any atmosphere it can be difficult. For a band, changing out a drummer, guitar player, or bassist can have different results depending upon how integral that person was to the creative process and what their unique talents brought to the group. The mess that is Guns N’ Roses is a great example. However, replacing a singer can totally change the sound complexion of the band. After the Tim Lambesis nightmare, As I Lay Dying added Shane Blay and transformed themselves into Wovenwar. Intervals brought their music to another level by bringing in Mike Semesky. Another band who has made a recent front man change is Texas In July. They are set to release their latest album, “Bloodwork,” September 16, 2014 via Equal Vision Records and Redfield Records.
Texas In July first caught my ear with their song ‘1000 Lies’ from their 2011 album, “One Reality.” After the release of their self-titled album in 2012, Ben Witkowski (bass), Adam Gray (drums), and Chris Davis (guitar) brought in new vocalist JT Cavey. Because of this personnel change, you notice a marked difference in Texas In July and their sound on “Bloodwork.”
Opening track ‘Broken Soul’ is not just that, it’s an opening statement to how this band has changed. JT’s presence is immediately felt. He belts out the lyrics with the kind of power that makes you pay attention. JT shows us the next level of his vocal skills on the next track, ‘Sweetest Poison.’ His clean vocal can carry the melody with the same power as his screams. Chris Davis’ riffing also has a level of complexity that it did not have on previous releases. Songs like the first two tracks are great examples of this while tracks like ‘Inner Demons’ and ‘Nooses’ are backed by bouncy breakdowns and sweet leads. Another standout performance on the album is Adam Gray’s drumming. Songs like ‘The Void’ and the instrumental ‘Decamilli’ are excellent examples of his skills behind the kit.
For Texas In July, change is not only a good thing, but was necessary for their evolution. “Bloodwork” is by far the band’s best record to date. JT Cavey’s outstanding vocals are the piece of the puzzle they were sorely missing. His much needed dose of melody allows the rest of the band to construct quality songs that are much more catchy and easy to get into than any they have produced before. The progression Texas In July have on made “Bloodwork” is outstanding, and one I hope doesn’t change too soon.