Throwing yourself about on stage often makes for a great show but nothing is worse than waking the next day wreathing in pain and not remembering why. Was it the stage dive? Or was it climbing speakers and wildly jumping off? Recklessly swapping instruments? Being hit by an errant drum stick, beer bottle or other projectile? All of these are in the lexicon of Test Icicles' shows. It's accepted behavior for singers, guitarists and bassists. So Ironically, it was Test Icicles drummer Devente Hynez (sometimes spelled "Heynes") who suffered the most serious injury. His foot was impaled on a stray shard of glass on stage. Of course, everyone thought it was part of the act, even as he collapsed.
"It's OK. I've just got a new way of walking now," Hynez said later. For a group employing Hardcore, Metal, and Hip-Hop, it's probably impossible to stay off the injury list.
The London based Test Icicles came from divergent backgrounds. Rory Aggwelt was born in High Wycombe but later settled in London. His journey was the least dramatic. Sam E. Dangerr, came into the world via Miami and moved to Australia. He ended up playing in a bunch of Punk and Metal bands, wandering to, and through, New York before landing in London. And then there was Heynez. Born in Texas, he moved to Edinburgh as a child. His first band was Gel, who covered the Smashing Pumpkins. Then he heard Slipknot. "It changed my life."
Aggwelt and Merrann were in a series of bands that seemed to come and go on a whim before Hynez came along. And even then, bandmembers kept busy with side projects (Aggwelt - Dogger and Lock Horns/ Dangerr & Hynez - NLS Crew). London club gigs and a UK opening act tour brought them to the attention of several labels. "For Screening Purposes Only," hit in '06.
Apparently, their name, a throwback to the '80s when band names were often puns or anagrams (INXS or XTC), did them no harm, even if it is a rather crude, sexual one.
There are mash-ups but Test Icicles is a mash-up. "For Screening Purposes Only" could be easily dismissed as a chaotic mess. Broken glass screams are slashed by sharp riffs which are bludgeoned then discarded. There are elements of Punk, Metal, Thrash and Hip-Hop often in a single verse. Half the fun is trying to figure out the reference point. That's the thing, the Test Icicles are fun, reckless fun - for some. Most people like their songs with a beginning-middle-end. With the Test Icicles sometimes a track is just a collection of beginnings.
The Test Icicles deliver a well crafted intense, spontaneity. It's easy to think they are making it up as they go along. And while the twists and turns are entertaining the group really excels when they stripe down and cut loose on "Party On Dude (Get Hype)."