Father-lovin’ island dwellers melt NME reviewer’s brain
Funny story behind this ‘ere track o’ the week: signed by Domino before they really knew what Test Icicles sounded like, the original version of ‘Boa Vs Python’ was handed back to the band along with the order, “Write us a proper chorus!” It was a move that effectively said, “We want another ‘Take Me Out’”. Instead they got a ‘Take Me Outside, I’m Vomiting Blood’ – with a discharge of choleric teenage yelping in the place of that unit-shifting chorus, and exhibiting but a smidgen of shinier production to show for the Domino dollar. They may have edited back the fatal dosage of venom displayed on the original demo to that which induces spittle-flinging fits, but ‘Boa Vs Python’ remains vicious fun, grounded as it is in the phlegmatic caterwaul of Sam Mehran, and flinging itself about like the Blood Brothers undergoing a DFA makeover. Of course, we think it’s Sam Mehran, as between the three of them, Test Icicles rotate vocal duties at a confounding rate. Live, the mic stand is passed about like a poorly rolled joint; with everyone getting a chance to spit some liquid ire.
The paranoid ‘Dancing On Pegs’ found on the flipside is even madder, telling the tale of a dwarf called ‘Commander’ who hunts folk down for impromptu amputations. All things considered, Test Icicles’ debut proves that there’s still something out there for those left cold and confused by the crushingly popular pogo-pop of the all-smilin’ Kaisers and chums. Vital.