For Screening Purposes Only
You know those variety platters you can get at all good family restaurants? Well I tried eating a whole one once for a bet and I was nearly sick. It wasn't just the sheer volume- more the different things I had to eat. And I never lose a bet. Never.
Banging my head against the nearest brick wall aside this is exactly how I feel about Test Icicles debut album 'For Screening Purposes Only'. The band arive with the requisite dodgy barnets and myspace obsessions and have tolled in their one way ticket to Hypesville aboard the 7.15 to superstardom apparently. So when I scratched the surface and found a right 'orrible mess I was a little surprised. Test Icicles seem to have one purpose to make a right racket while splicing as many music genres as possible. Sometimes it works, like in 'Boa vs Python' and 'Pull the Lever'- two songs which seem to disect Ad Rock's finest Beastie Boy spleen venting and lay it down in a body of post punk's most pop tinged edges. Then they make it all a bit metal. Like a bit daft metal. But good. Sometimes they take the above and splice in a bit of prog keyboard and some razorwire guitar solos that would make Slash pale.Then its just merely dischordant and unlistenable...but a bit drum n bass. Like Rahzel and Disturbed have got together to make a concept album, or Jay Z and Linkin Park even. See what I mean, I'm literally having to eat those breaded mushrooms so that the full delight of the tasty ribs is even more sumptious. Somewhat ironic that reaches its pinnacle on a song called 'Maintain the Focus' whose high pitched yelps I have been guffawing repeatedly in people's faces for the last fortnight.
If I heard the stompalong 'Sharks' or 'Dancing on Pegs' down the local scenester hovel I'd be sure to shake my fringe along until I was a wee bit sweaty but I think that's reward for my persistence and that many wouldn't bother. This is just an album with too many ideas and with the reins let a little too loose. If I was to recommend you a dish for your friends sir? 'Try the variety alternative platter, something for everyone but it's a bit of a stomachful for one. Especially the breaded mushrooms.' Eurgh!