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4 Jun 2010 – 6:12 PM Comments

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Music Review – Test Your Reflex, The Burning Hour

Submitted by on 10 Jul 2007 – 3:48 PM Comments

Test Your Reflex may be one of the most inspiring bands of the past three years. While many youth rock outfits today may have released well-publicized start up singles that lead to disappointing first albums, this band appears to have dodged the odds. Maybe it’s the serious dedication these boys have put into the work, like lead singer Ryan Levine’s six months of frustrating garage solitude, which he spent deciphering exactly what he wanted the music to sound like. Or maybe it’s just the wonderful kinetic energy of the group, self-proclaimed kindred spirits, that gives these wistful alternative rock ballads palpable passion.

Even with the multitudes of seasoned competition in the industry, Ryan and buddies ”drummer Sal Cortez, guitarist RC, and classically trained pianist Andrew Ampaya” have compiled an album that rivals the best of their peers. And they’ve managed to do this as one of the youngest and least experienced of bands.

Obviously influenced by the likes of The Cure and U2, their debut album, The Burning Hour, plays to each artist’s natural talent and abilities. In some places, its songs could pass as lighter B-sides of a TV On The Radio album or a more harmonic Linkin Park CD. There is no glam with this band. It might be because of their humble California garage band beginnings or because they haven’t been tainted.

Test Your Reflex possess the raw talent and hypersensitivity to create something new and fresh. It has put class back into the alternative sound by staying true to beautiful piano solos and vocals that provide heart and soul. There is a favorite track on here for everyone.

Beth Konopka