Test Icicles

If the theme of 2006's party is art damage, then Test Icicles--originally called Balls, in case you've missed the sketchy wordplay--provide the soundtrack. But party rock was once about partying, while this might not be about anything. To wit, the Icicles' declaration "Yeah yeah, bitches don't own me/I sold my soul and stuck my tongue in a hard drive" isn't quite in harmony with the Beasties' "You wake up late for school, man, you don't wanna go." Whatever these lyrics mean, they say a lot less than the sound itself: a fizz of bratty vocals, surgical guitars, and blaring noise and electronics that deserves to be turned up and complemented by beer. To its credit, this English trio has found a way to make art rock that doesn't take itself seriously, but this debut is full of the dance-y rhythms and decadent-sounding non sequiturs of the moment. Just don't expect For Screening Purposes Only tracks to mingle with License to Ill jams on party mixes circa 2016.
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Andrew Marcus