YOU CAN'T ESCAPE your past. Just ask Garrett Klahn, the former voice of Texas Is the Reason. For a brief yet triumphant run in the '90s, Texas Is the Reason became the finest act to emerge from emo's second generational shift—long before Chris Carrabba stole your little sister's diary and made a crossover career as Dashboard Confessional. As Texas Is the Reason's streamlined sound intensely flirted with the mainstream, the mainstream returned the favor, fawning over the band and anointing them as saviors of a scene on the verge of overtaking the airwaves. But just as the major label bidding war swelled, Texas Is the Reason imploded, breaking up onstage in the middle of a European tour in 1997.
But Klahn didn't stop there. He soldiered on heading up rock acts Solea and the New Rising Sons, plus a stint as an occasional solo artist, and as part of an all-too-brief reunited Texas Is the Reason. He's reemerged once more, this time as part of the duo Atlantic/Pacific, where Klahn isn't the only member with emo bones rattling in his closet. His other half in Atlantic/Pacific, John Herguth, was the former frontman for Brooklyn act House & Parish, a band that represented a Shriners' parade of emo's elderly guard (featuring ex-members of the Promise Ring, the Gloria Record, and of course, Texas Is the Reason).
After an introductory EP, Atlantic/Pacific's first long-player is the presumptuously titled Meet Your New Love, a perfectly palatable exercise in vintage alt-pop that while absolutely listenable, lacks the luster of their previous work. Contained within the shuffling songs of Atlantic/Pacific, the duo's unabashed Anglophile obsession is difficult to ignore, as songs like "The Latest" and the album's tempered titled track sound like a drowsy Gallagher brothers from their forgettable Standing on the Shoulder of Giants era.
This is not to say Meet Your New Love doesn't have plenty of stellar moments—ambitious songs like the atmospheric "Ship to Shore" and "Patterns," which recall a stripped-bare the Sea and Cake, make lasting impressions—but overall the recording feels coddled, just too safe to warrant repeat listens. It's as if the Atlantic/Pacific pair were too busy looking backward to avoid the pitfalls of their past that they couldn't see what was right in front of them.