One of the great albums of 2005!
from: Uncommon Folk - august 2005
Doctor Won’t You Get Us To Dawn
(Sleepsound Records / Broken Sparrow Records, 2005)
Testface has been around since 1998 but mostly as a one man operation headed by David Snider. Originally from New Hampshire, Snider now resides in Oregon and has been involved and surrounded by music since he was a young lad. His Swedish mother played accordion and his German father was a composer. Inevitability isn’t really inevitable, but Snider seemed destined at a young age to become a songwriter and muscian himself. The very fresh and new Doctor Won’t You Get Us To Dawn is Testface’s latest album. No longer on his lonesome, Snider embraces seven other musicians in order to enhance his compositions that, for those unfamiliar with Snider’s work, sound like the lovechild of the Silver Jews and Grandaddy. Testface use everything from syths to guitars, vibes to bass, pianos to glockenspiels, drums to found sounds and, of course, the vocals of Snider. The compositions are grand and endearing; layered without ever being overwhelming and experimental without every getting out of hand. Several songs have a more laid back and less layered feel, like the reverbed and echoed out vocal beginnings of Hold On Merry-Go-Round. Found sounds gorgeously litter many of the tracks, like the afforementioned song and the brilliant Pinwheels In the Daffodils. The psychadelia inherent in Testface’s sound is of the trippy variety: best when slow, catchy and happy. These songs, while not always about the most smile-inducing subjects will, indeed, induce smiles in its subjects. Serious experimentation and a good sense of musical history are combined with whimsy in many songs but the good majority of Snider’s lyrics are deep and worth diving into as the listener attempts to discover answers in the sea of Snider’s brain, emotions and life experiences. Though filled with metaphor and seemingly fictional storytelling, Snider is quite introspective which is refreshingly sincere even if masked with diferent literary stylings. Basically, the rhymes have reasons—one just might have to listen and try a bit harder at times to find them. But challenging the listener is the hallmark of great music and the greatest music challenges and moves the listener at the same time, even if the uncallenged listener only processes the depth of the material in their subconscious. The superb hooks, great beats and terrific melodies that span the entire album will insure the a feel good time for all who take in the Snider’s sound. And for those who like to dig deeper, get a little more out of the experience, Testface more than provides one with enough sonic and psychological mysteries, puzzles, clues, and other oddities to play with, consider, and try to figure out. One of the great albums of 2005 and with Testface an emerging force in the independent music world, Doctor Won’t You Get Us To Dawn is one of those must own records, complete in a gorgeously designed digi-pak as random and rare as the sounds it houses. After all, one of the best and most experimental and interesting songs on the album comes after the Outro. Like it was said before: inevitability isn’t really inevitable.
Uncommon Folk - august 2005