If you believe the hype currently going around then you must think that the UK music scene is at its strongest since Oasis and Blur fought over the Brit-pop crown or perhaps even when The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays were teaching the kids to take drugs and dance. Test Icicles are seen to be one of those leading the charge; however it really is hard to take a band with a name like that seriously when looking over the shelves of your local independent record store. At least they aren't called The Arctic Monkeys (seriously, WTF?) I guess.
Whatever the awful band name makes you think, ignore it For Screening Purposes Only is a superb album. It's a dirty punk come indie scenester come metal album. The frantic sound and snotty sounding vocals resounding throughout this album make it one to remember. Album opener 'Your Biggest Mistake' is a way to introduce yourself on record. It oozes confidence and style that you don't often find in British bands these days and I'm sure you're unlikely to find for some time.
The first single taken from the album, 'Boa vs. Python,' is overwhelmingly powerful and insanely catchy. With an almost sneered sound to the vocals coming out of the mouths of these young crazies. As if that wasn't enough the follow up single 'Circle, Square, Triangle' will have the kids dancing in the indie clubs up and down the country before the end of the year. It has one of the best grooves I've heard in a song this year and with a chorus that includes the refrain of 'We could do with more poison,' you know that you have a hot contender for song of the year.
'Catch It' shows off the bands metal influence with one heck of a guitar riff. Seriously this is the sort of thing that Kerry King would write, it's big, it's fat and it wails more than the Wyld Stallions. 'Snowball' features a pretty good Iggy Pop impression that for a moment had me looking through the credits to see if they had in fact got the man himself on the album. Who cares if it's not Iggy, it's still got all the power and 'Fuck You' sensibilities that you would get from him.
This album is what punk rock in 2005 and beyond is supposed to be about, Test Icicles are making a sleazy noise and letting everyone that listens to it know that they are having fun. Ok so it is just another Blood Brothers clone less the screeching and keys, but damn it's good fun. It won't change the world or even your life but for the length of an album, you'll be as happy as Larry in what is one heck of a debut.
8.5 / 10
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