Test Icicles: What's Your Damage?
Surrealist smorgasbord from Gods Of Screamo
The first roar of feedback from insane swot-punks Test Icicles’ new single hits you in the solar plexus with the power of a Cambodian guard delivering some private prison justice to Gary Glitter. THWWAACK!! A jagged juggernaut riff pile-drives in on top of it with the whip-chord cockiness of Dennis Rodman trying to explain his wardrobe to Michael Barrymore on Celebrity Big Brother. Cars backfire. Guitars explode. And that’s the quiet bits.
“People don’t listen they don’t turn around!” bawls Rory before gasping, “What’s left?/Myself/Open to attack!” What is this onslaught? Test Icicles are a non-boring Bloc Party styled by a colour-blind Hedi Slimane. Their last video featured Hoxton zombies pogo-ing while skulls breathed purple smoke. Recent gigs supporting Franz saw them provoke a flurry of plastic glasses Towers Of London would die for.
But none of these things prepare you for the perverse genius of ‘What’s Your Damage?’. A cranky synthesis of every great pop moment we’ve had in the last five years, it mixes The Strokes’ wardrobe, LCD Soundsystem’s sarky post-modernism and the grot’n’roll bands’ couldn’t-give-a-fuck approach to musicianship, with the best loon-metal indie
riff since, well, ‘Circle Square Triangle’. Its arrival midway through the decade begs the question: why aren’t all bands like this?