12 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Caught somewhere between a totally '80s time warp — not just new-wave, either; U2's Joshua Tree also creeps into Test Your Reflex's compositions — and delusions of grandeur that involve David Bowie and Brian Eno, this young SoCal act shoots for the stars, and then some, on its major label debut. No, really. Everything's larger than life on The Burning Hour: the crunchy chords that collide into the choruses of "Pieces of the Sun" and the wailing diva of "…Magazine Cutouts," the syths that glide and gloss over the surface sheen of "Black Hearts" and "New Year," and the plodding, patient wide open spaces of "I'm Not Sorry" and "Painted Red." Considering the reasoning behind the record's title — a strip club visit that reeked of desperation and depression — it's a tad surprising to see so many shades of darkness and light on the entire disc. But it's also refreshing, resulting in a record that's as emotionally-charged as it is engaging. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Caught somewhere between a totally '80s time warp — not just new-wave, either; U2's Joshua Tree also creeps into Test Your Reflex's compositions — and delusions of grandeur that involve David Bowie and Brian Eno, this young SoCal act shoots for the stars, and then some, on its major label debut. No, really. Everything's larger than life on The Burning Hour: the crunchy chords that collide into the choruses of "Pieces of the Sun" and the wailing diva of "…Magazine Cutouts," the syths that glide and gloss over the surface sheen of "Black Hearts" and "New Year," and the plodding, patient wide open spaces of "I'm Not Sorry" and "Painted Red." Considering the reasoning behind the record's title — a strip club visit that reeked of desperation and depression — it's a tad surprising to see so many shades of darkness and light on the entire disc. But it's also refreshing, resulting in a record that's as emotionally-charged as it is engaging. 

TITLE TIME
5:09
3:45
3:37
3:53
5:11
3:17
4:36
4:29
3:47
4:26
4:49
1:56

About Test Your Reflex

Heavily inspired by the sincere and anthemic rock of '80s stars like U2, Peter Gabriel, the Police, and Simple Minds, Test Your Reflex update that vintage sound into a form akin to contemporaries like the Arcade Fire and the Faint rather than sticking to mere 1980s post-punk nostalgia. Formed in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks, CA, in 2004 by singer and guitarist Ryan Levine, the band also includes lead guitarist R.C. Clark, keyboardist Andrew Ampaya, bassist Agustin Sanchez, and drummer Sal Cortez. Within months of forming, the band's teen idol looks and smartly retro vibe had attracted a small-scale bidding war that was eventually won by Sony BMG's RCA imprint. Test Your Reflex's debut album, The Burning Hour, was released in early 2007, preceded by the first single "Pieces of the Sun." ~ Stewart Mason

  • ORIGIN
    Los Angeles, CA
  • FORMED
    2004

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