Nineties emo heros Texas Is the Reason reunited for a pair of New York City gigs in October, and now the band is prepping the release of a retrospective collection revisiting their only full album, 1996’s Do You Know Who You Are? Here, the group unearths “When Rock ‘N’ Roll Was Just a Baby,” the last track they wrote as a band.
“It was kind of like a Brian Eno ‘oblique strategies’ thing, where the challenge was to write a pop song that didn’t actually have a chorus. We were right on the verge of finally signing with Capitol after a years-long bidding war at that point, and I think we were having a reactionary moment. It was like, ‘We won’t go quietly!'” guitarist Norman Brannon tells Rolling Stone. “But I remember Gary Gersh, who was the president of Capitol at the time, told me it it was one of the best songs we’ve ever written, and that was really one of the first moments where I ever thought our band could actually work beyond the indie-rock world – when the guy who signed Nirvana loved a song without a chorus.”
Though the band was short-lived, Texas Is the Reason still had material they wanted to share with the world. “To have this time capsule for our band is great, but putting these unreleased songs out into world after 14 years is really all we ever wanted,” says Brannon. “We disagreed on a lot of things as a band – obviously, because we broke up! – but this was the thing we agreed on. That those last songs were our favorite songs, still, to this day.”
Do You Know Who You Are?: The Complete Collection is due February 12th.